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2Jnttoet0itp of jQortft Carolina 

Collection of jSortf) CaroUmana 
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This book may be kept out one month unless a recall 
notice is sent to you. It must be brought to the North 
Carolina Collection (in Wilson Library) for renewal. 

Form No. A-369 
UNCPS/51498/ 1.2011 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2014 


APRIL 7- DECEMBER 1, 1913 


Vol. 4 








September 11, 1913. — Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors 
and ordered to be printed, with illustrations 





Letter of the Acting Secretary of War 4 7 

Letter of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army 9-11 

Report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors: 

On 10-foot depth 11-17 

On 7-foot depth 17-18 

Report of the special Board of Engineer officers: 

The order convening the board 18 

Section I. 

Statement of the problem involved 18-19 

Section II. 


General description of the coast: 

Beaufort-Cape Fear 19 

Cape Fear-Winy ah Bay 19 

Winyah Bay-St. Johns River 19 

St. Johns River-Jupiter Inlet 19-20 

Jupiter Inlet-Biscayne Bay 20 

Biscayne Bay-Key West 20 

Section III. 


1. Beaufort-Cape Fear: 

(a) The Kearney line 20-21 

(b) The Phillips interior line 21 

(c) The Phillips shore line 21 

2. Cape Fear- Winy ah Bay: 

(a)" The Livingston Creek-Juniper Creek line 21-22 

(6) The Town Creek line 22 

(c) The shore line 22 

3. Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor 22-23 

4. Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 23 

5. Savannah River-St. Johns River 23 

6. £>t. Johns River-Indian River: 

(a) The shore line 23 

(b) The Crescent Lake route 23 

(c) The Lake Harney route, 23 

(d) The Lake Shad and Salt Lake route 23-24 

7. Indian River-Biscayne Bay 24 

8. Biscayne Bay-Key Wesft 24 

Section IV. 



I 1. Beaufort-Cape Fear River 24-26 

2. Cape Fear River-Little River 26-27 

U 3. Little River-Winyah Bay 27-29 

^T* 4. Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor 29-30 

(Y^ 5. Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 31 




6. Savannah River-Fernandina 31-32 

7. Fernandina-St. Johns River 33 

%. St. Johns River-Indian River: 

(a) St. Johns River section 33-34 

(b) Salt Run-Lakes Ruth, Shad, and Salt Lake. 34 

(c) Salt Lake-Indian River 34-35 

9. Indian River-Key West: 

(a) Indian River-Jupiter Inlet 35 

(b) Jupiter Inlet-Lake Worth 35 

(c) Lake Worth-Hawk Channel 35-36 

(d) Hawk Channel-Key West . 36 

10. List of maps submitted 3,36 

Section V. 


2. Depth 36-38 

2. Width and side slopes 38 

3. Structures: 

(a) Locks 38 

(h) Dams 38-39 

Ic) Bridges 39 

(d) Training walls and breakwaters 39 

(e) Beacons 39 

Section VI. 


1. Excavation 39-40 

2. Structures: 

(a) Locks 40 

lb) Dams 40 

(c) Training walls 40 

Id) Bridges 40 

(e) Beacons 40 

(f) Rights of way 40 

(g) Contingencies 40 

General estimates: 

Beaufort-Cape Fear River, $4,336,000. 40-41 

Cape Fear River-Little River, $3,811,000 41 . 

Little River-Winyah Bay, $6,330,000 41 

Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor, $2,645,000 42 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River,. $897 ,000 .42 

Savannah River-Fernandina, $437,000 42 

Ferdandina-St. Johns River, $657,000 43 

St. Johns River-Indian River, $13,528,000 43 

Indian River-Hawk Channel, $8,413,000 43-44 

Hawk Channel-Key West 44 

Summary of estimates, $31,054,000 44 

Maintenance 44 

Section VII 


% Commercial: 

(a) Local zone traffic 45 

The North Carolina coast.. 45-46 

The South Carolina coast 46-47 

The coast of Georgia 47 

The Florida coast 47-49 

(6) Through traffic 49 

Wilmington, N. C 49 

Charleston, S. C -49-50 

Savannah and the Georgia ports 50 

Jacksonville, Fla 50-51 

2. Naval and military 51 

Section VIII. 


Recommendation of board 51-51 

Section IX. 

Order and rate of prosecution of work 52 

Time for completion 52 

Program of appropriations, recommended 52 

Section X. 

Private canals 5$ 

Section XI. 


1. Right of way 5% 

2. Terminal facilities 54 

3. Water power 54 

4. Flood control 54 

5. Drainage 54-55 

6. Legislation, form of, recommended 5§ 

Estimate for canal of 7-foot depth 55-57 

Miscellaneous papers submitted by private parties 57-67 

Index 69-74 


[Printed at end of document.] 


1. General map: Boston, Mass.-Rio Grande, Tex. 
Index map: 

2. Seacoast and inland routes, Beaufort Inlet, N. C.-Little River, S. C, section. 

3. Little River Inlet-Winyah Bay route, S. 0. 

4. Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor, S. C, route. 

5. Charleston Harbor, S. C.-Savannah River, Ga., route. 

6. The 10-foot project of existing inland waterway, Savannah River, Ga.-Cumbep* 

land Sound, Ga., and Fla. 

7. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; Cumberland Sound-St. Johns River. 

8. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; St. Johns River. 

9. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route. 

10. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; Indian River. 

11. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; Indian River-Lake Worth. 

12. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; Lake Worth-Biscayne Bay. 

13. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; Biscayne Bay-Upper Matecumbe Key* 

14. St. Johns-Indian Rivers, Fla., route; Matecumbe Key-Key West, Fla. 


War Department, 
Washington^ September 10, WIS, 
The Speaker op the House op Representatives. 

Sir : I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from the Chief 
of Engineers, United States Army, dated August 11, ultimo, to- 
gether with copies of reports, with illustrations, from a special board 
of engineer officers, dated July 1, 1911, and April 12, 1912, on a sur- 
vey of the Beaufort, N. C., to Key West, Fla., section of the proposed 
continuous inland waterway from Boston, Mass., to the Rio Grande, 
made by it in compliance with the provisions of the river and harbor 
act approved March 3, 1909. 
Very respectfully, 

J Henry Breckinridge, 

Acting Secretary of War, 


War Department, 
Office of the Chief of Engineers, 

Washington, August 11, 191$. 
From : The Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army. 
To : The Secretary of War. 

Subject : Survey for intra coastal waterway from Beaufort, N. C, to 
Key West, Fla. 

1. There are forwarded herewith for transmission to Congress 
reports dated July 1, 1911, and April 12, 1912, prepared by a special 
board of engineer officers, in accordance with a provision contained 
in the river and harbor act approved March 3, 1909, as follows : 

Sec. 13. * * * 

The Secretary of War is hereby authorized and directed to cause preliminary 
examinations and surveys to be made at the localities named in this section, as 
hereinafter set forth. * * * 

****** * 

Survey for the construction of a continuous waterway, inland where practi- 
cable from Beaufort, North Carolina, to the Cape Fear River, North Carolina; 
thence to Winyah Bay, South Carolina; thence to Saint Johns River, Florida; 
thence to Key West, Florida, for the purpose of ascertaining the cost of a chan- 
nel with a maximum depth of twelve feet or such lesser depths along any section 
or sections of the said waterway as may be found to be sufficient for commercial, 
naval, or military purposes. Such survey shall include an examination of all 
practicable routes, the preparation of plans and estimates of cost along the most 
available route, and a report upon the desirability of utilizing as a part of such 
waterway any existing public or private canal, or any part thereof, and the 
probable cost of acquiring the same. 

The report of this special board has been referred, as required by 
law, to the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, to whose 
reports herewith, dated December 18, 1911, and June 10, 1912, atten- 
tion is invited. 

2. As the first report of the special board recommending a 10-foot 
depth waterway indicated costs in excess of what was considered 
advisable by the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors and 
myself, under present conditions, a second report was called for to 
show estimates of cost for a lesser depth — that of 7 feet — considered 
necessary for 6-foot-draft boats. The costs per section of the water- 
way for the two depths of 10 and 7 feet, respectively, are as follows : 

10-foot depth. 

7-foot depth. 



3, 811,000.00 

3, 724, 219.00 

6,330,000. 00 


2,645,000. 00 

1, 227,800.00 

897,000. 00 



195,000. 00 


251, 726. 75 



8,413,000. 00 

2, 127,950.68 






3. The special board recommends an expenditure of $31,000,000 
for a complete continuous inland waterway with a canal section 
of 10-foot depth and a minimum bottom width of 100 feet for use by 
barges of about 8 feet draft and 1,000 tons load ; the work to be com- 
pleted in six years, but the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors 
found itself unable to concur in the desirability of such expenditure, 
even for a single one of the nine subdivisions. The Chief of Engi- 
neers does not exactly concur with either board, concurring with the 
special board as to the line of route selected and as to the need 
of some continuous waterway, and concurring with the Board of 
Engineers for Rivers and Harbors as to the lack of urgency for a 
1 0-foot depth at present. The Chief of Engineers believes, however, 
that in view of the fact that there is already an 8-foot depth inside 
route all the way from Delaware River to Beaufort, N. C, and a 
12-foot route already recommended from Long Island Sound to 
Beaufort, N. C, and that there is already a 6 to 7 foot depth inside 
route from Charleston, S. C, to Jackson ville^ Fla. (either in fact or 
approved), and the same depth for about 170 miles up the St. Johns 
River to Sanford, Fla., it is already time to look ahead to the comple- 
tion of a 7-foot depth route for the intermediate section between 
Beaufort, N. C, and Charleston, S. C, so that barges, gasoline boats, 
steam hoisters, light-draft dredges, and other light craft can go from 
the south New England coast to lower Florida without danger 
from heavy Atlantic gales. Moreover, the Chief of Engineers be- 
lieves that, as it is impracticable to improve each of the smaller 
rivers of the Atlantic coast to the extent of allowing to each a free 
access for ocean steamers, it will be very advantageous in the end to 
connect the lower ends of all these smaller streams by a belt line or 
coastal canal which shall afford at an early date a 6-foot draft (7-foot 
depth) waterway connection to the nearest ocean port and later a 
12-foot depth through connection (2 feet deeper than named by the 
special board) all the way from Long Island Sound to the St. Johns 
River, the order of work to be gauged by the urgency of its needs. 

4. From personal knowledge the Chief of Engineers knows the 
Beaufort to Cape Fear section to be the most difficult and dangerous 
for small boats, which must to-day go outside into an unfriendly 
ocean for about 100 miles and pass around the dangerous Cape Fear 
Shoals with no safe inlets to run into if caught in bad weather, and 
with not enough good daylight to make a safe through run. After 
boats have reached the Cape Fear River safely on a southbound 
passage they have only 75 miles farther to go outside to reach 
Winyah Bay in a part of the ocean usually favorable to such a 
length of trip and usually allowing a safe passage between morning 
and evening twilight. Once arrived at Winyah Bay small boats 
of 6 feet draft can already go the rest of the way to the St. Johns 
River by waiting for tides at the shallow places, and larger boats 
have many good inlets where they can seek shelter in bad weather. 
Once arrived at the St. Johns River, boats of 8 feet draft will, under 
existing projects, be soon able to go freely up this river 170 miles 
to Sanford, on Lake Monroe, to within a short distance of the north- 
ern boundary of the Everglade basin, whose drainage and small-boat 
canals are now under consideration by the State or local corpora- 
tions. Beyond the St. Johns River and along the Florida east 
coast population is sparse and the customary boat travel, except 


such as is seeking the Gulf or such as is adapted to existing small- 
boat channels, is occasional and can afford to wait for quiet weather 
in which to follow existing routes suitable to its draft, so that a 
7-foot inside route along this Florida coast for through Atlantic 
coast travel is not at present urgent, and an improvement of the 
present 3 to 4 foot route appears too local for Federal consideration. 
Moreover, when the time comes that boats will need a better route 
than that of to-day from St. Johns River to the Gulf the new route 
should be one across the State and not around it. 

5. Because of his belief and personal knowledge, as above given, 
taken in connection with the report and recommendations of the 
special board, the Chief of Engineers concurs with the special 
board so far as to report an early need of an intracoastal waterway 
from Beaufort, N. C, to the St. Johns River, Fla., but he recom- 
mends favorably at present only a waterway of 6 feet draft (or 7 
feet depth) over this route at a total cost of about $14,400,000, further 
recommending that the first section to be undertaken be that from 
Beaufort, N. C., to Cape Fear at about $2,900,000 ; the next, that from 
Winyah Bay to Charleston at about $1,230,000, and from Charles- 
ton to the St. Johns River at about $870,000, so much of this 
$2,100,000 to be expended as may then be found necessary or desir- 
able in the improvement of its then existing 6-foot draft routes; 
and the next, that from Cape Fear River to Little River and Winyah 
Bay, commencing with the northern end, at about $9,400,000; total 
about $14,400,000, the first half of the work to progress at the rate 
of about $800,000 per year, and the progress on the last half to 
gauged by the results of the first half. 

6. I have, therefore, following the instructions of Congress, as to 
this section of intracoastal waterway, to report that the improvement 
by the United States of this intracoastal route is deemed advisable 
so far as to give a 6-foot draft (or 7-foot depth) inland waterway 
from Beaufort, N. C, to the upper St. Johns River, Fla., following 
in general the route and methods recommended in the accompanying 
report of the special board and the order of work stated above, at 
a total estimated cost of $14,400,000 for first construction, this esti- 
mate being based on annual appropriations of at least $800,000 
per year. 

W. H. Bixby, 
Chief of Engineers, United States Army. 


War Department, 
The Board op Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, 

Washington, D. C, December 18, 1911. 
Sir : 1. Having fuliy considered the report of the special board on 
the surveys made in compliance with the act of March 3, 1909, for the 
construction of a continuous waterway, inland where practicable, 
from Beaufort, N. C, to Key West, Fla., the Board of Engineers for 
Rivers and Harbors has the honor to submit the following report 


2. The item of law calling for the investigation is quoted in the 
report. The special board outlines the principal factors which de- 
termined the scope and nature of the survey and describes in general 
terms the country to be traversed. Preliminary consideration was 
given to all feasible routes, and the most practicable of these were 
selected for actual survey. 

3. The entire route from Beaufort to Key West, about 925 miles, 
is divided into nine reaches, and the work proposed may be briefly 
described as follows: 

(1) Beaufort to Cape Fear River. — Sea-level canal following the 
coast closely through natural lagoons or low-lying marsh lands. 
There will be required on this section ordinary excavation, three 
bridges, and at Cape Fear Eiver entrance two stone jetties and a 
guard lock. The estimated cost is $4,336,000. 

{2) Cape Fear River to Little River. — Six miles sea level and 6- 
foot level for balance of reach. The canal crosses a series of sand 
ridges, small creeks, and rivers, the latter to be dammed below the 
line of the canal and raised to the 6-foot level. This section requires 
ordinary excavation, one lock, seven dams, four highway bridges, 
beacons, etc., at an estimated cost of $3,811,000. 

(3) Little River to Winy ah Bay. — Two locks of 12-foot and 10- 
foot lift at eastern end rising from the 6-foot level of the Cape Fear- 
Little River reach, making a 28-foot level extending to Waccamaw 
River. The summit-level water supply will be obtained from a reser- 
voir to be created by damming the valley of the Waccamaw River 
at Pireway. From this reservoir a feeder will run to the canal, a 
distance of about 31,000 feet, the supply being regulated by control 
gates at each end. From the 28-foot level the canal is dropped to a 
9-foot level at the Waccamaw by means of two locks at Bear Bluff. 
Here a 9-foot level in the river itself is to be maintained by a dam at 
Conway and with some straightening and widening the river channel 
is to be followed. At Conway the canal level is dropped to normal 
low-water level of the Waccamaw, 3.4 feet. From this point the open 
river now under improvement will be followed to Winy ah Bay. This 
reach requires for the main canal, Mullets Creek to Bear Bluff, four 
locks, two at each end, two bridges and two dwellings; a feeder canal 
with two control works, a reservoir dam at Pirewa}^, a river dam and 
lock at Conway, canal and river excavation, straightening of channel 
and erection of beacons, all at an estimated cost of $6,330,000. 

(If.) Winyah Bay to Charleston Harbor. — This route utilizes the 
existing Estherville-Minim Creek Canal of 6 feet depth, crosses the 
North and South Santee Rivers, and continues through marsh land 
and natural waterways, terminating in deep water in Charleston 
Harbor, at the entrance to Sullivans Island Cove. This reach is to 
be sea level, and the work required is excavation, the erection of bea- 
cons, and, at South Santee River, the construction of training walls. 
The estimated cost is $2,645,000. 

(5) Charleston Harbor to Savannah River. — On this reach the 
existing inland route is utilized as far as practicable. It is deemed 
advisable, however, to depart from this at times in order to overcome 
undue crookedness or to avoid the dangers of exposed reaches. This 
section is to be at sea level, and the only work required is dredging 
and the erection of necessary beacons. The estimated cost is $897,000. 


(6) Savannah River to Femandina. — There is over this reach an 
existing natural inland waterway, which has been improved by the 
United States to provide a channel .75 feet wide at bottom and 7 feet 
deep at mean low water. With one change this route is to be fol- 
lowed. It is a sea-level reach and merely requires dredging and the 
construction of beacons, although provision is made in the estimate 
for a moderate amount of training-wall work that may become 
necessary. The estimated cost is $437,000. 

(7) Femandina to St. Johns River. — Over this reach also there 
is an existing waterway of limited dimensions, which affords light- 
draft navigation. This line will have to be departed from to fit it 
as a part of a useful through route, but is adhered to where practi- 
cable. The only work contemplated on this section is dredging, at 
an estimated cost of $657,000. 

(8) St. Johns River to Indian River. — This section of the canal 
follows generally the channel of the St. Johns, which has a depth 
in excess of 10 feet for 93.5 miles and is being improved for a fur- 
ther distance of 73.7 miles to Sanford on Lake Monroe under a 
project which contemplates a channel 8 feet deep and 100 feet wide. 
From Lake Monroe to Lake Harney — 22.6 miles — the channel is 
being improved to a depth of 5 feet. The natural channel is very 
crooked, however, and for a canal of the dimensions proposed for the 
intracoastal waterway can not be closely followed, and marsh cuts 
must be substituted. From Lake Monroe the route follows Salt 
River, Lake Ruth, Lake Shad, Salt Lake, and thence 15 miles across 
the divide between St. Johns and Indian Rivers. As Salt Lake is 
6 to 7 feet in elevation above Indian River a lock will be provided 
near Indian River. There will be required on this reach ordinary 
excavation, beacons, one lock, and two bridges, at an estimated cost of 

(9) Indian River to Key West. — Indian River has for the most 
part a depth of 6 feet or more, and some work has been done in it by 
the Government. The line of deepest water is generally followed. 

The route passes through Indian River, past St. Lucie Inlet, the 
canal of the Florida East Coast Canal Co., and connecting water- 
ways partly improved by that company, to Miami on Biscayne Bay, 
and thence through Hawk Channel to Key West. No work is re- 
quired through Hawk Channel to Key West, as the natural depth 
is sufficient. This reach requires ordinary dredging, rock excavation, 
construction of beacons, and the purchase of the Florida East Coast 
Canal, at a total estimated cost of $8,413,000, of which $211,308.30 
is for the purchase of the canal. 

4. Recapitulating the above estimates, we have : 

Beaufort-Cape Fear River $4, 336, 000 

Cape Fear River-Little River 3, 811, 000 

Little River- Winy ah Bay 6, 330, 000 

Winy ah Bay-Charleston Harbor 2, 645, 000 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 897,000 

Savannah River-Fernandina 437,000 

Fernandina-St. Johns River 657, 000 

St. Johns River-Indian River. 3,528,000 

Indian River-Key West _ 8,413,000 

Grand total 31, 054, 000 

Annual maintenance, 2 per cent of original cost, or $620,000. 


5. The maximum depth specified by the law is 12 feet, but the 
special board's investigations led it to the conclusion that the most 
economical vessels for use in this waterway would be 1,000-ton 
barges with a draft of 8 feet, handled by towboats of no greater 
draft, and that a depth of 10 feet would accommodate the barge 
traffic anticipated as well as all types of craft now used or likely 
to be used in the local zone traffic. The board states that the 10- 
foot depth will be much less expensive than 12 feet, and will be 
sufficiently well adapted to military and naval purposes. 

In view of all cons' derations, the board has selected 10 feet as the correct 
depth for this canal, from end to end. 

A minimum width at bottom of 100 feet is given, increasing in 
bends and in open waters up to a maximum of 200 feet, with side 
slopes of 1 on 2 to 1 on 4. Turning or passing basins are to be 
provided where needed, one at least in each 3 miles of length, the 
actual location to be left to the constructing officer. The special 
board gives details and estimates of cost for the different items of 
construction that enter into the work. 

6. Commercial, naval, and military utilization — Commercial utili- 
zation. — It is expected that two kinds of commerce will develop) — > 
local or zone traffic and through traffic. 

Local or zone traffic. — Traffic of this character is expected to 
develop first, as there is now considerable business done on existing 
inland waters, including the coastal lagoons, canals, and small rivers, 
the traffic centering at the principal seaports. With better coastal 
connection between the rivers and the business centers this traffic 
should increase. There is now a commerce of this character on the 
North Carolina coast amounting to about 108,745 tons, valued at 
$2,866,135. On the principal rivers of northern South Carolina, the 
commerce amounts to about 283,738 tons, valued at $3,429,390, the 
concentration point being Georgetown, which has a limited harbor 
depth. The special board believes that this commerce would be 
greatly increased if an adequate inland coastal connection with 
Charleston and Savannah were available. Along the coast of 
Georgia, where the inland waterways are better than farther north, 
there is at present a well-established traffic amounting to about 
55,000 tons, valued at $2,500,000, not including rafted logs and timber. 
A larger commerce is predicted to result from better navigation 
facilities. The proposed coastal route would be of especial value 
to Florida, where other means of transportation are inadequate to 
meet the rapidly growing trade adjacent to the line of the canal 
route. No reliable estimate of prospective zone commerce can be 
given, but a study of existing conditions indicates that it would be 
large. The special board states that on the assumption that the canal 
will develop a commerce in proportion to that of the existing re- 
stricted inland waterway in Georgia, a total zone traffic of approxi- 
mately $30,000,000 per annum may be expected. 

Through traffic. — While the prospect of establishing a through 
traffic of any considerable size in competition with seagoing vessels 
is uncertain, the special board believes that there is a fair prospect 
for the growth of such traffic, principally in coal, lumber, naval 


stores, fertilizers, and perhaps other items, at least to the extent of 
carrying the commerce that through lack of sufficient ocean bottoms 
is now refused. 

Naval and military utilization. — The special board discusses these 
uses of the canal and states that the waterway may have considerable 
value for such purposes under certain more or less remote contin- 

7. Recommendations. — After a comparison of the cost with pros- 
pective utilization, the special board concludes that the canal is wor- 
thy of construction by the United States, considered from the stand- 
point of local or zone business alone, and adds, " When to the increase 
in concentration and distribution is added the prospect of economical 
through traffic, and when it is recalled that the cost of carrying the 
work forward from 4 zone ' to ' through ' development, will be but a 
small part of the total, it is clear that the through canal should be 
undertaken as a whole." 

8. Order of work. — It is believed by the special board that in 
actual construction the first effort should be directed toward zone 
extension from the large ports outward, supplemented by completion 
of the connecting links about the time when zone communications 
shall have reached a state of high efficiency. It considers it unwise to 
undertake the work in an intermittent way or under any program 
which contemplates extending the work over a long period of years, 
and asserts the practicability of economically completing the canal 
in six years. A program for expenditures on this basis is presented, 
the amounts being for successive years $3,942,000, $6,194,000, $7,000,- 
000, $5,964,000, $3,900,000, $4,054,000, a total of $31,054,000. 

9. Private canals. — While there are several private canals on the 
South Atlantic coast, there is only one which follows closely the line 
proposed and which should be taken into consideration, namely, that 
of the Florida Coast Line Canal & Transportation Co., connecting 
the waters of Jupiter Inlet and Biscayne Bay. Owing to the small 
cross section of this canal, it will not be of great value in connection 
with the proposed waterway, but it could be utilized with some sav- 
ing. It was not possible to ascertain the probable cost of acquiring 
this private canal, but the saving in excavation by its use has been 
estimated at $211,308.30. The extent of the right of way of this 
private canal appears indefinite, but is insufficient to meet the re- 
quirements of an enlarged canal. A route parallel to the existing 
canal is practicable, and the opinion is expressed that the price above 
named, $211,308.30, plus a fair valuation for the right of way, repre- 
sents the value of the canal to the United States, and if the demands 
of the canal company exceed this sum the parallel location is recom- 

10. The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors has given 
careful consideration to the report outlined above and to the advan- 
tages and benefits to be derived from the proposed improvement. 
It agrees with the special board generally in the conclusion that the 
greatest benefits would be felt in certain zones tributary to the larger 
commercial centers, and that by far the greater part of the commerce 
developed would be of local or zone type. It does not believe that 
there would be any great amount of through commerce. The dis~ 


tance the through commerce would have to be transported to reach 
the markets at Baltimore, Philadelphia, or other northern ports 
would be very great, vessels suited to the restricted waterway would 
be limited in capacity and speed, and in the opinion of the board 
could not compete with seagoing vessels. There are on this section 
of the coast a number of good seaports at no great distance apart, 
with harbors of sufficient capacity to accommodate ocean traffic, 
namely, Wilmington, Georgetown, Charleston, Savannah, Bruns- 
wick, Fernandina, and Jacksonville, all having an established trade 
by sea with northern ports. The board does not believe that com- 
merce would pass these ports in a restricted inland waterway in pref- 
erence to taking the open sea in large carriers. 

11. Taking up the question of zone traffic, the recapitulation of 
the estimates given above shows that the first four and the last two 
sections range in cost from $2,645,000 to $8,413,000. There appears 
to be no prospect of the development of local traffic on any of these 
sections of such amount as to warrant the very large expenditures 
involved. The other three sections are those from Charleston Har- 
bor to Savannah Eiver, costing $897,000; Savannah River to Fer- 
nandina, costing $437,000 ; and Fernandina to St. Johns River, cost- 
ing $657,000. All of these three sections have existing through chan- 
nels. The waterway from Charleston to Savannah has at present a 
small boat traffic concentrating country products at Charleston and 
Savannah and distributing supplies as return cargoes. * The amount 
is unknown, but is thought to be somewhat in excess of 40,000 
tons per year. Neither the present nor prospective commerce of 
this section appears to justify the expenditure proposed for the im- 
provement or existing facilities. This section includes within its 
limits Archers Creek, S. C, which is under consideration by the 
board and will be reported upon separately, under the act of June 
25, 1910. The section from Savannah River to Fernandina is al- 
ready provided with a waterway 7 feet deep, which appears to meet 
the present and reasonably prospective requirements of commerce, 
and no further improvement is recommended. The section from 
Fernandina to St. Johns River is under examination as a separate 
project, in accordance with a provision in the river and harbor act 
of February 27, 1911. Report upon a survey of this route is now 
before the board, from which it appears that the present commerce is 
about 28,000 tons. Even allowing for a large increase in commerce, 
the traffic would not be sufficient to make advisable the improvement 
of this section to a depth of 10 feet, at a cost of $657,000. 

12. The board has given consideration to the military and naval 
purposes that might be served by the proposed waterway, and is of 
opinion that such uses are not of sufficient importance to modify 
the conclusions reached from a consideration of the commercial as- 
pects of the question. 

13. In conclusion, the board reports that, in its opinion, it is not 
advisable for the Government to undertake the construction of a 
waterway 10 feet deep from Beaufort, N. C, to Key West, Fla., as 
recommended in the accompanying report. 

14. In compliance with law, the board reports that there are no 
questions of terminal facilities, waterpower, or other related sub- 


jects which could be coordinated with the improvements proposed 
in such manner as to render them advisable in the interests of com- 
merce and navigation. 
For the board. 

Very respectfully, 

Wm. T. Rossell, 
Colonel, Corps of Engineers, 
Senior Member of the Board* 
The Chief of Engineers, United States Army. 


[Fourth indorsement.] 

The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, 

Washington, June 10, 1912. 

1. Respectfully returned to the Chief of Engineers, United States 

2. The Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors has had before 
it the supplemental estimates submitted by the special board for a 
waterway having a depth of 7 feet between Beaufort and Key West. 
The location of this waterway is identical with that proposed for the 
10-foot project, and its cost is estimated, in round numbers, at 
$19,000,000, or $12,000,000 less than for the deeper channel. 

3. The board has considered this lesser waterway, both in its bear- 
ing upon through commerce and upon the local or zone commerce of 
the different seaports. The board does not believe that the benefits 
to be derived from a through waterway of 7-foot depth would be com- 
mensurate with the large expenditure required, the basis of this 
opinion being the improbability of the development of any great 
through commerce, as explained in the board's report upon the 
larger project. Considered in its relation to zone traffic, a continuous 
waterway does not seem to be essential. Individual sections were 
considered in the board's report of December 19, 1911, and, on account 
of the large cost of construction as compared with the existing and 
reasonably prospective commerce, no improvement was recommended, 
but reference was made to the fact that separate examinations of cer- 
tain sections had been ordered by Congress and would be reported 
upon thereafter. 

4. Attention is invited to the board's reports of January 15, 1912, 
in reference to Archers Creek, between Charleston and Savannah, 
and of December 26, 1911, in reference to the waterway from St. 
Johns River to Cumberland Sound, in which the improvement of 
these waterways was recommended to depths of 6 and 7 feet, respec- 
tively. Having in mind the fact that a channel 7 feet deep is now 
available between Savannah and Fernandina, it will be seen that 
these recommendations provide for inland navigation from Charles- 
ton to Jacksonville, embracing the most promising sections of the 
intracoastal waterway. The board believes that the improvement of 

H. Doc. 229, 6a-l 2 


the remaining sections to a depth of 7 feet is not advisable at the 
present time. 
For the board. 

Wm. T. Rossell, 
Colonel, Corps of Engineers, 
Senior Member of the Board. 



War Department, 
United States Engineer Office, 

Jacksonville, Fla., July 1, 1911. 

Sir : The board of officers appointed to conduct the — 

Survey for the construction of a continuous waterway, inland where practi- 
cable, from Beaufort, North Carolina, to the Cape Fear River, North Carolina; 
thence to Winyah Bay, South Carolina; thence to St. Johns River, Florida; 
thence to Key West, Florida, for the purpose of ascertaining the cost of a 
channel with a maximum depth of twelve feet, or such lesser depths along any 
section or sections of the said waterway as may be found to be sufficient for 
commercial, naval, or military purposes. Such survey shall include an exami- 
nation of all practicable routes, the preparation of plans and estimates of cost 
along the most available route, and a report upon the desirability of utilizing 
as a part of such waterway any existing public or private canal, or any part 
thereof, and the probable cost of acquiring same — 

in accordance with the act approved March 3, 1909, has the honor 
to report: 

Section I. — Preliminary. 

The board deems it advisable at the outset to state the conceptions 
which have determined the scope and nature of the surveys and 
which have governed the board in reaching its conclusions. 

The wording of the act as quoted above clearly contemplates a 
" through " route. To meet this requirement the waterway should 
be as short and direct as practicable. Thus, long or expensive de- 
tours, designed to reach or pass through interior cities, are inad- 
missible; inland communities must gain access to the through route 
by using the intersecting river systems, all of which reach the pro- 
posed waterway at or near their seaward ends. Again, a " through " 
route should be one which imposes a minimum of impediment upon 
through traffic. Thus, other conditions being equal, locks and varia- 
tions of level are inhibited. 

Under these conceptions the waterway has been designed to follow, 
as nearly as possible, the general alignment of the coast; and has 
been carried as near the coast as conditions have permitted, depar- 
tures inland having been resorted to only where high land comes 
down to the sea, where the marine marsh and sea island formations 
are lacking, or where wave-washed sand beaches afford the only loca- 
tions for shore-line canals. Also, the canal has been made sea-level 


whatever reasonably practicable. Impediments and uncertainties in- 
volved in the introduction of locks and high levels and dependence 
upon questionable summit-level water supplies have been avoided. 

Section II. — The country traversed. 

A general description of the coast precedes discussion of possible 
routes : 

From Beaufort, the northern terminus, to the Cape Fear entrance 
the coast line is of regular form, tending southwesterly in a long; 
curve. The shore itself consists of a series of low sand ridges 
paralleling the ocean line, broken at intervals by small inlets. la 
rear of the beach ridges marine marshes and open sounds are practi- 
cally continuous, var}dng from the broad expanses of Bogue Sound 
on the north to the lesser widths and more constricted areas south of 
New River, and gradually narrowing and tailing out toward the 
lower end of Cape Fear Peninsula. Landward of the marine marsk 
the country rises to gently undulating regions, generally heavily 
wooded, exhibiting large areas of swamp permeated and drained by 
the tributaries of the Neuse, Newport, White Oak, New, and North 
East Cape Fear Rivers. 

Continuing from the Cape Fear entrance the coast line trends 
again southwesterly in a long curve to Winyah Bay; but here the 
topography differs markedly from that found in the previous section. 
The beach ridges persist southward to Little River Inlet, but the 
marine marsh is little in evidence, being replaced by narrow longi- 
tudinal depressions parallel to the shore line, above sea level, and ie 
general covered by upland fresh-water swamp growths. South of 
Little River the land rises directly from the sea to the upland pine 
barrens and swamps. Inland from this coastal fringe are broad 
table-lands, generally wooded, sparsely inhabited, ill drained and 

Southward from Winyah Bay the coastal topography again 
changes. First comes the broad Santee Delta area, succeeded by 
the island formations of the Carolina, Georgia, and Florida coasts* 
which continue as far south as the mouth of the St. Johns River. 
In this section nature has already gone far toward providing an 
inland waterway. The coast line consists of a chain of sea islands 
sheltering a broad expanse of marine marsh, the latter being 
traversed by many tidal creeks and passages. From the Santee 
Delta to Charleston Harbor limited inland communication can now 
be had by way of these tidal sloughs; from Charleston to the Savan- 
nah River the passages are of capacity sufficient to carry a consider- 
able small-boat trade, while on the Georgia and northern Florida 
coasts, excepting at a few constricted points, the inland waterway 
is broad and open, accommodating schooners and light-draft steamers. 
There is little occasion for considering the adjacent back country 5 
as the continuous belt of marine marsh affords an exceptional loca- 
tion for a coastwise canal. 

Continuing southward from the St. Johns River entrance the 
topography is somewhat less favorable. The coast remains low T and 
sandy, but while for portions of the distance long lagoons, lying 
behind the beach ridges, appear to offer a suitable location, there 


are several stretches, notably south of Mayport and south of Man- 
tanzas Inlet, where conditions are distinctly obstructive. On the 
other hand, varying from 15 to 25 miles inland the St. Johns Valley 
leads far southward, and finally southeasterly toward the northern 
end of the Indian Kiver, while the Indian River itself, with St. 
Lucie and Hobe Sounds, all of which lie sheltered behind the broad 
outer beaches, offer obvious prolongation of an inland passage south- 
ward to Jupiter Inlet. 

Continuing southerly the coastal fringe remains low and sandy, the 
beach ridges of the shore being practically continuous and the longi- 
tudinal depressions in the rear of the beach ridges varying from low 
marsh land to open lagoons, such as Lake Worth and the Hillsboro 
River, with the usual rising landward of the depressions. This 
formation persists as far as Biscayne Bay, where the depressions 
widen to form a broad shallow sound protected by sandy islands to 

To the south of Biscayne Bay all conditions are again materially 
altered. In rear of the sounds the shore line of the mainland swings 
off to the southwest and west, rounding the tip of the Florida 
Peninsula, while the ocean beach line swings out from the main- 
land, gradually increasing its distance, trending southwesterly, and 
is prolonged to Key West by a series of coral islands or keys. The 
water area inclosed between the mainland and the line of keys is 
generally shallow, studded with small islands and reefs, and offers 
no location for an interior waterway. But immediately seaward of 
the line of keys is the well-known Hawk Channel, sheltered by out- 
lying reefs and having a controlling depth of 10 feet. This naviga- 
ble passage is continuous from Biscayne Bay entrance to the harbor 
at Key West, and is now in general use by light-draft craft, so 
that in its present condition the Hawk Channel constitutes the logical 
extension of a coast-line canal from the mainland of Florida to the 
island harbor of Key West. 

Section III. — Alternative Routes. 

The above general description indicates the existence along certain 
sections of the coast of more than one feasible route, notably in the 
North Carolina and Florida sections. 

Many of the possible alternatives have previously been well sur- 
veyed and reported upon, so that the board had in advance consid- 
erable information upon which to plan the present survey. All 
previous reports and other available topographical data were col- 
lected and considered, after which the preliminary work was laid 
out to cover reexamination of the reasonably practicable known 
routes, and thorough investigation of the sections upon which little 
information had hitherto been secured. This advance work de- 
veloped the variants discussed below. 


(a) The Kearney line. — This is an interior route, surveyed by 
Lieut. Col. J. Kearney, topographical engineer, in 1828, and is re- 
ported on page 38 of Senate Document No. 35, Forty-fourth Congress, 


first session. The route was resurveyed by S. T. Albert, United 
States civil engineer, the report being found in the same Senate 
document. The line passes through Neuse River, leads by Slocums 
Creek past Big Lake, thence down the White Oak River; thence by 
Grants Creek, a tributary of the White Oak; across country to the 
northeast branch of New River ; across this branch and up the south- 
west branch; thence across country into and down Holly Shelter 
Creek to point of confluence with the northeast branch to Cape Fear 
River; thence down the northeast branch to Cape Fear River proper. 
This survey has been reexamined, and estimates based upon the 
type of canal now required to accommodate barge traffic show a 
probable total cost by this route of $12,000,000. 

(b) The Phillips interior line. — This route was surveyed in 1878 
and 1880 by Capt. Charles B. Phillips, Corps of Engineers, whose 
report is found on page 851, Annual Report of the Chief of Engi- 
neers for 1880. The line passes up Neuse River to the mouth of the 
Trent River; thence up Trent River to Pollocksville ; thence across 
country, parallel to the present location of the Atlantic Coast Line 
Railroad, to the White Oak River near Maysville; thence across 
country via Starkeys Creek to the Big Northeast Branch of New 
River ; thence to and down New River to Sneads Ferry ; thence along 
the course of the coastal sand ridges to a point near Hampstead; 
thence to Northeast Cape Fear River via Harrisons Creek. No 
satisfactory location for the canal could be found on this line, which 
fact led to the making of the survey covered by (c) below. 

(c) The Phillips shore line. — This route followed the general line 
of the coast, passing through Bogue Sound and the marine marshes 
to the southward to Whiskey Creek, crossing at that point via 
Whiskey Creek and Bernards Creek directly into the Cape Fear 
River. This survey demonstrated the practicability of constructing 
a canal on this line, and indicated a probable reasonable cost. Esti- 
mates based upon the type of canal now desired showed a probable 
cost of $4,000,000. 

Reexamination of the above three possibilities showed that the 
interior routes (a) and (b) are impracticable on account of excessive 
cost of sea-level canals and on account of absence of adequate water 
supply for summit levels of lock canals. The whole country between 
the Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers was also actually explored by recon- 
noissance parties, with a view to locating any other reasonably 
practicable routes. None were found. The board, therefore, deter- 
mined upon a detailed survey along the general route of the shore 


(a) The Livingston Creek- Juniper Creek line. — This interior 
route was surveyed in 1881 by Capt. James Mercur, Corps of Engi- 
neers, and is reported in the Annual Report of the Chief of Engi- 
neers for 1882. The line passes up Cape Fear River and its north- 
west branch to Livingston Creek, a tributary of the latter ; thence up 
this creek and overland through Green Swamp to Juniper Creek, a 
tributary of the Waccamaw River ; thence down the Waccamaw Val- 
ley to Winyah Bay. A canal on this line would necessarily be a 
lock canal, and, at that, would involve very heavy excavation. The 


survey shows no sufficient water supply for summit levels, and shows 
unusual engineering difficulties and prohibitive cost. 

(b) The Town Creek line. — This interior route was surveyed at the 
same time as the previous and is similarly reported. The line passes 
up the Cape Fear Eiver to Town Creek ; thence up Town Creek and 
across Green Swamp directly to Waccamaw Eiver. Here also eleva- 
tions and cost were found to be prohibitive and water supply for 
summit levels inadequate. 

(c) The shore line. — The possibility of constructing a canal by 
this route was indicated by topographic information in possession of 
the board, and an examination was instituted. The line leaves South- 
port at the mouth of Cape Fear Kiver; thence by Elizabeth Eiver, 
crossing the divide to Davis Creek and Lockwoods Folly Eiver; 
across the latter and across a second divide to Little Shallotte Eiver; 
down this valley to and across the Shallotte Eiver ; thence up Sauce- 
pan Creek and across the divide to Calabash Eiver, which empties 
into Little Eiver near the inlet ; this to be prolonged to Winyah Bay 
either by shore line, following the coast, or by crossing from Little 
River directly to Waccamaw Eiver and down the latter. 

As in the previous section, the detailed information in the posses- 
sion of the board demonstrated the impracticability of the high-level 
interior routes. The board selected the third variant and instituted 
a survey for a shore line from Southport to Little Eiver Inlet, and 
for both cross-country and coastal lines from Little Eiver Inlet to 
"Winyah Bay. 

An instrumental reconnoissance of the Waccamaw peninsula soon 
developed the fact that a shore location from Little Eiver to the 
vicinity of Winyah Ba}^ would be impracticable and unduly costly 
on account of the absence of any low line for a sea-level canal and the 
absence of water supply for a canal at higher level. The results of 
the reconnoissance thus determined that the final location for a route 
from Cape Fear Eiver to Winyah Bay should follow the shore line 
only as far as Little Eiver Inlet, crossing from that point to the 
Waccamaw Valley, and so down to Winyah Bay. 


Within this section there are few variants to be considered. Be- 
ginning at Winyah Bay, an inland waterway such as is now pro- 
posed will naturally follow the line of the Estherville-Minim Creek 
Canal, already constructed, leading southward to North Santee Eiver. 

The question of connecting Santee Eiver and Charleston Harbor 
by a suitable inland route has long been under consideration and dis- 
cussion, many locations having been proposed. This problem was 
made the subject of investigation in the course of a preliminary 
examination of " Waterways, Columbia and Camden to Charleston," 
in accordance with the act of June 25, 1910. At that time five possi- 
ble routes were passed upon ; but of these only two can here be con- 
sidered, as the remaining, even were they otherwise feasible and eco- 
nomical, leave the Santee at points too far up the river to permit of 
their forming a part of an intracoastal way. The two routes which 
can be considered are the Wambraw-Wando interior route and the 
coastal route, both of which have been advocated by local interests. 


The investigations above referred to showed that the Wambraw- 
Wando route would be unduly costly and yet have no material ad- 
vantage over the coast route. For this reason the board selected the 
shore line for detailed survey. 


In this section no questions of alternative route arise. Inland 
navigation is already well established through the marine marshes in 
rear of the sea islands upon passages which in general lend themselves 
to improvement to the depths now proposed. There are no prac- 
ticable interior routes. 


Here, as in the previous section, there are no questions of alterna- 
tive routes, the inland passages through the marine marshes being 
already well established and susceptible at very moderate cost of fur- 
ther improvement to the depths now contemplated. No interior lines 
are worthy of consideration. 


In this section several alternatives present themselves, all of which 
have been investigated, with results as follows : 

(a) The shore line. — This is strictly shore line location parallel 
to and near the ocean, extending from St. Johns River at Pablo 
Creek to a point about 5J miles north of Titusville. While this route 
is direct and short, the advance examinations developed the necessity 
of heavy cutting, some of which is in rock, and preliminary esti- 
mates indicated a cost of approximately $5,500,000. The use of this 
line is also complicated by the fact that it is now occupied by a small 
private canal, which, while of little value as saving excavation for 
the intracoastal canal, would nevertheless have to be acquired at 
a cost to be added to the figure stated above. 

(b) The Crescent Lake route. — This line follows the St. Johns 
River from Pablo Creek to Dunns Creek; thence through Dunns 
Creek to Crescent Lake and Haw Creek and by the Florida East 
Coast Canal to a point 5J miles north of Titusville. The route is 
longer than the previous and while engineering difficulties appear 
approximately the same, the cost would be only slightly less. The 
preliminary estimates indicated a probable expense of about 

(c) The Lake Harney route. — This line follows up the St. Johns 
River to Lake Harney ; thence across country by canal to the Indian 
River and to a point 5J miles north of Titusville. This again is a 
line longer than the previous, but has the advantage of utilizing a 
great part of the St. J ohns River, which lends itself well to improve- 
ment for the depths contemplated. Engineering difficulties are less 
than in the preceding routes; preliminary estimates indicated a cost 
somewhat over $4,400,000. 

(d) The Lake Shad-Salt Lake route. — This line also follows up 
the St. Johns Valley, passing Lake Harney, and leading up to Salt 


Run; thence through Lake Shad and Salt Lake; and thence across 
country by a short canal to the Indian River near Titusville. This 
route has all the advantages urged for the immediately preceding 
and at the same time promises less construction difficulty and less 
initial cost; preliminary estimates place the latter at less than 

The board examined these four alternatives, selecting the last as 
being the most advantageous, and directed its detailed survey. ' 


Here no alternatives are offered. The canal must follow the 
lagoons and depressions parallel to and in rear of the ocean 


Between these two points nature has provided a 10-foot water- 
way in the Hawk Channel. No reasonable alternative presents itself. 

Section IV. — Description of Route as Finally Surveyed and 


The major variants discussed above having been canvassed, the 
final surveys were organized to cover the selected general location. 
It was expected that the detailed work would develop minor variants. 
The field surveys covered all such and placed the board in possession 
of the information required to make a final determination of the line 
upon which to base its estimates. 


Beginning at Beaufort Harbor the line leads up the present navi- 
gable channel within Bogue Sound, generally near the northern 
shore, to a point about 5 miles from Swansboro. In the first 10 
miles this channel varies in natural depth from 8 to 9 feet and in 
width from 300 to 400 feet, requiring little further dredging; the 
remainder has a navigable depth of about 2 feet at mean low water. 
Continuing the located line departs from the existing channel, pass- 
ing through the marine marshes close to the northern shore, crossing 
into the White Oak River at Swansboro. In actual excavation of 
these stretches it is proposed that the material shall be deposited 
to the south of the dredged channel to form a continuous bank ris- 
ing above high water and isolating the canal from the main body 
of the sound. This disposal of dredged material will protect the 
cut from encroaching sand. In the vicinity of Swansboro the layout 
of the channel should be noted, the purpose here having been to 
avoid cross currents and prevent deterioration of the channel by 
reason of tidal flow in and out of Bogue Inlet. 

Continuing from Swansboro to New River, the located line passes 
through broad marine marshes cut up by numerous sloughs and 
creeks. No attempt has been made to follow the existing channel, 
as this is too tortuous for present purposes. The new location is 
made to follow close to the shore line of the mainland. Opposite 


these stretches there are two small inlets — Bear and Brown — having 
a depth of from 2 to 4 feet upon their bars, but fairly stable in posi- 
tion. If in these stretches the dredged material is deposited on the 
seaward side, forming a continuous dike, protecting the cut and con- 
fining the tidal flow to the New River and White Oak River en- 
trances, cross currents in the canal will be obviated and no delete- 
rious effects from the tidal flow through Bear and Brown Inlets need 
be anticipated. 

In crossing New River, as at White Oak River, the canal location 
is designed to avoid cross currents, being carried up through Howards 
and Salliers Bay, on the east, into the wide portion of the main river, 
and well around the marine marshes of the interior delta. This 
arrangement also gives access to the channel of New River. 

Continuing from New River to Cape Fear River, the canal location 
passes through five small sounds, each connected to the ocean by an 
inlet. Within the sounds there is an intricate network of channels, 
but none of sufficient capacity to be included as a section of the intra- 
coastal way. The inlets referred to are responsible for detrimental 
effects against which the design must guard. Storm tides carry 
through and deposit within the inlets large quantities of sand, form- 
ing nuclei for growth of marine marsh ; and the ordinary tidal flow 
entering at the several inlets deposits such sediment at intermediate 
points known as " dividings." So that, in this section, as previously, 
it is advisable to deposit dredged material in such way as to form a 
continuous dike to seaward of the cut, protecting the canal from dis- 
turbances and utilizing only one or two of the larger inlets to pass the 
tidal flow. In view of these considerations the location line, depart- 
ing from New River, enters Chadwicks Bay across a narrow neck of 
land projecting into the marine marshes, and passes down Alligator 
Bay, Stump, Topsail, Masonboro, and Myrtle Sounds, following close 
to the mainland until it reaches a point near the southern end of 
Myrtle Sound, where the marshes nearly tail out. Here the line is 
but 1 mile distant from the Cape Fear River, being separated by a 
low ridge of sand hills about 25 feet in height. 

Special investigations were undertaken to determine the best loca- 
tion for the crossing into Cape Fear River. The following locations 
were considered: 

(a) Scotts Hill Crossing, — A trial line was run through Foys 
Creek northward past Scotts Hill, thence to the head of and down 
Island Creek to the Northeast Cape Fear River, at a point from 
which a depth of 10 feet is available continuously down the stream. 
This crossing is 7 miles long and has a maximum elevation of 54 feet 
at Scotts Hill. Excavation of a sea-level canal at this point would 
involve the removal of 6,728,139 cubic yards of earth, and construc- 
tion of a guard lock to shut out the 10-foot floods of the Northeast 
Cape Fear. Moreover, the material is such that instability of side 
slopes must be expected, making maintenance charges probably high. 
This crossing would also involve an increase in length of the canal 
of 24 miles. The cost of the crossing alone is estimated at $1,800,000, 

(b) Hewletts Creek Crossing. — This possible line leaves the 
marshes at Hewletts Creek, just below WrightsviJle, passing across 
the divide to Bernards Creek, on the Cape Fear River, the maximum 
elevation being 42 feet, with total length of cut of 8 miles. The ex- 


cavation involved is large. The cost of the crossing alone is esti- 
mated at $1,600,000. 

(c) The Carolina Beach Crossing. — Here, as indicated before, the 
marine marshes lie but 1 mile to the east of the Cape Fear River, 
and a crossing can readily be effected, encountering no elevation 
greater than 30 feet. This is estimated to cost $166,000. 

While the higher crossings (a) and -(b) have been advocated by 
the citizens of Wilmington for the reason that they would bring the 
canal line past or close to their city, the board, in conformity with 
the general principles established for a through route, has considered 
such arguments inadmissible and has selected the lower or Carolina 
Beach crossing as being the least costly and most advantageous. 

As adopted the line leaves the marine marshes at a point opposite 
Carolina Beach, passes directly across the divide and into the Cape 
Fear River by Telford Creek. Here the Cape Fear River is about 2 
miles in width and the deep channel is found along the western shore, 
so that it will be necessary to carry the inland waterway across the 
mud flats of the eastern shore to reach deep water. This is to be 
accomplished by prolonging the canal between stone dikes until it 
reaches a slough on the eastern side, thence down the slough into the 
main dredged channel. Additional training walls may be required 
below the canal entrance in order to obviate cross sections. With 
these constructions the prolongation of the canal can be made to hold 
its depths. 

In general it is believed that the canal location as adopted from 
Beaufort to Cape Fear River can be accepted with assurance of per- . • 
manence and stability. It is sea level throughout and, while located 
quite close to the ocean, should not be open to seriously disturbing 
influences. It has been stated that the coast line appears to be under- 
going slow degradation, but the rate of recession, in case such there 
is, has been extremely small. The principal changes in the past 50 
years have occurred in the neighborhood of the inlets. Some former 
inlets have entirely closed up, some new inlets have formed, while 
others have shifted their positions by distances varying from a few 
hundred feet to several hundred yards. But there appears to have 
been no great recession of the general line of the coast; in fact, at 
points the fore shore has advanced, so that it now appears that the 
coast line fluctuates slightly on both sides of what may be termed a 
"mean" position, there being periods of recession and subsequent 
periods of advance. In any case the rate of change in the past 50 
years and more has been so slight that no disturbance of the canal 
as located need be anticipated. 


The canal line leaves deep water of Cape Fear River at Southport, 
about 3 miles from the ocean entrance; continues at sea level for 6 
miles up the marshes bordering Elizabeth River, running approxi- 
mately parallel to the coast at a distance inland of about 1% miles. 
At the head of the Elizabeth River the canal is to be stepped by a 
standard lock to a 6-foot level and continued at this level to Little 
River, the end of this section. 

From the begmning of the 6-foot level the canal passes through 
the longitudinal depressions to Davis Creek, a tributary of Lock- 


woods Folly River. The maximum elevation herein encountered is 
30 feet above mean low water. The mouth of Davis Creek is to be 
closed by a fixed earthen dam retaining the 6-foot level. The catial 
is then carried from Davis Creek across a small neck, maximum ele- 
vation 20 feet, into Lockwoods Folly River, the latter also being 
closed by a concrete dam to retain the 6-foot level. 

Continuing from Lockwoods Folly the canal line is carried through 
a series of low sand ridges and valleys, maximum elevation being 30 
to 32 feet, into Little Shallotte River and thence down to Shallotte 
River proper. Here the crossing will be effected as previously by the 
construction of a concrete dam, raising the Shallotte River to the 
6- foot level, and the canal carried forward through low sand ridges 
and valleys into Saucepan Swamp, Saucepan Creek, and Calabash 
Creek. Following down Calabash River, which is to be backed up 
by a 6-foot earthen dam, the canal line reaches a point opposite Lit- 
tle River Inlet and is turned inland at Mulletts Creek as the first 
stage of crossing into the Waccamaw River. 

In the foregoing section, Cape Fear to Little River, consideration 
was had of both sea-level and 6-foot-level canals. While the latter 
will require locks it will involve much less excavation; perfect pro- 
tection against tidal currents will be had ; no cross currents at Lock- 
woods Folly River and Shallotte River will be encountered, and the 
prism of excavation will be kept well above underlying rock. Ade- 
quate water supply can be had at all periods of the year by retaining 
the discharge of Shallotte and Lockwoods Folly Rivers as herein pro- 


The location within this section was determined by three practical 
considerations. First, on account of the height of the ridge between 
the ocean and the Waccamaw River, running up to 50 feet, it was 
necessary to select the shortest line of crossing in order to hold down 
excavation cost. Second, the whole back country being compara- 
tively flat, it was necessary to keep the summit level down to an eleva- 
tion such that water could be supplied to the canal prism. Third, 
the material encountered in the Waccamaw Peninsula being of a 
comparatively unstable character, it was necessary, within the limita- 
tions of the two preceding considerations, to reduce the depth of cut 
to a minimum in order to hold down deterioration and incident high 
maintenance charges. 

A thorough reconnoissance was made of the region lying between 
the ocean and the Waccamaw Valley. The crossing from Mulletts 
Creek directly to Worthams Bridge on the Waccamaw River was 
selected as that which offered least probable excavation. The Wac- 
camaw Valley was then surveyed to determine low-water and flood 
elevations in order that available water supply might be computed. 
This survey disclosed the fact that it would be necessary to obtain 
the water from some site above the crossing, as the low-water eleva- 
tion in the Waccamaw River at Worthams Bridge is approximately 
14, and the practicability of damming the valley at that point and 
of raising the water to any considerably greater level was small. 
The survey was continued upstream to locate the nearest suitable dam 
site. This was found at Pireway, where, by the construction of a 


dam of low profile entirely across the valley from high land to high 
land, it would be possible to back up the water to any elevation not 
exceeding 30. 

Tentative computations were then made to detefmine the econom- 
ical elevation for the crossing. Costs of 20-foot, 24-foot, 26-foot, and 
28-foot summit levels were computed and compared, with the result 
that the 28-foot level was shown to be the least costly and, all condi- 
tions considered, that which promised the least expense in main- 
tenance. No greater elevation could well be taken without forfeiting 
water supply. 

To accomplish the crossing at this elevation two locks, one of 12 
and one of 10-foot lift, will be required at the eastern end, where 
suitable marl foundations have been developed. The excavation will 
be carried through nonresisting material at reasonable initial cost; 
but it will probably be necessary to flatten the side slopes consider- 
ably below those of the normal prism, say to 1:3, as much of the 
material is saturated with water and may prove less stable than that 
found in the adjacent country. Provision for this is included in the 

To feed the summit level the design contemplates the construction 
of a fixed dam at Pireway, extending from high land on the west side 
of the valley, crossing the channel of the river as a concrete gravity 
section, and thence across the river swamp as a concrete and crib 
spillway, to high land on the eastern side of the valley. The eleva- 
tion of the crest of the dam proper is to be 30, that of the spillway 
30.5. It is also advisable to extend the concrete sill from the 30-foot 
knoll on the eastern side of the valley across to the opposite high and 
dry land, this section to be at 32 in order to prevent overflow between 
the knoll and the high land opposite. 

The Pireway Dam creates a reservoir at elevation 30 impounding 
the water over an area of approximtely 13,000 acres and collecting 
the run-off from the watershed of 625 square miles of comparatively 
flat country. The water supply so obtained is adequate, the dis- 
charge being never less than 225 cubic feet per second. 

The reservoir is to be connected with the canal at elevation 28 by a 
feeder about 31,000 feet long, the supply being regulated by control 
gates at each end. Cross section of the feeder is fixed at 30 feet bot- 
tom width, with side slopes of 2:3, this being sufficient, with the 
given difference of head, to carry a discharge somewhat greater than 
the normal low-water discharge of the Waccamaw River. The feeder 
is to reach frhe canal proper in the vicinity of Worthams Bridge. 

The crossing into the Waccamaw Valley having been determined, 
the question arose as to whether the canal should be carried down the 
river proper throughout, or as a lateral canal throughout, or in part 
by each method. Surveys disclosed that the last alternative would 
provide the correct solution. The Upper Waccamaw from Worthams 
B ridge down to Red Bluff is exceedingly tortuous ; during low-water 
periods it is of very small prism, and has prohibitive slope. To use 
this section of the river in open-channel work would be impracticable. 
To canalize, in view of the breadth of the valley, would be very costly. 
On the other hand, the slopes on the western side disclose an excellent 
location for a lateral line, where construction will be comparatively 
inexpensive, and by which the 28-foot level can be prolonged well 


down the valley, thus being kept above floods and freed from liability 
to disaster. 

From Red Bluff down to Conway both low and high water slopes 
are much gentler ; and while the channel is still quite tortuous, it has 
larger cross section and offers reasonable possibility for open channel 
work. A lateral canal having been determined upon for the section 
above Red Bluff, it then became a question of locating a satisfactory 
point at or below Red Bluff for entering the main channel of the 
river. This was found at Bear Bluff, where the slopes of high land 
are bordered by the main channel of the river, and where access to 
the main channel can be had without crossing the swamps. Suitable 
lock foundations upon stiff clay were here developed. 

To proceed downstream from Bear Bluff, tentative estimates were 
made upon the probable cost of straight open channel work. It was 
found that, by reason of many shoals between Bear Bluff and Con- 
way, the total excavation would be large; and that in view of the 
character of the river, maintenance charges would probably be high. 
Investigations were then undertaken to determine the practicability 
of raising the water level. The construction of the valley proper at 
Conway Avas found to offer a site for a dam of low profile (similar in 
all respects to that proposed for Pireway) by which the low- water 
level, normally +3-4, might be raised to +9 without flooding any 
land other than that normally subject to flood each year, and without 
materially raising the flood plane. By this means the open river 
work in the section Bear Bluff-Conway can be reduced to compara- 
tively limited dredging and straightening of bends, and an economi- 
cal and satisfactory channel will be obtained in which only slight 
deterioration need be expected. 

Upon this design the canal is dropped from 28 to 9 by two locks 
placed at Bear Bluff, and continues at Conway at 9 within the 
straightened and widened channel of the river. 

At Conway the canal level is again dropped to normal low-water 
level of the Waccamaw River, 3.4. From this point downstream the 
slope is exceedingly small and the lunar tidal effects are pronounced ; 
the canal will be carried in the open river as straightened and deep- 
ened by projects now in course of execution. It may be noted that 
the United States is already committed to the creation of, a 12-foot 
open-river navigation from Conway down to Winy ah Bay, as this 
project has been adopted and is now under way. 

It is a comparatively simple work, can be accomplished by dredg- 
ing alone, and will be confined to the 22 miles above the mouth of 
Bull Creek. But the board has reason to believe that the estimates 
under which this project is now being carried on are inadequate, and 
it seems proper to include in this report an estimate for funds suffi- 
cient unquestionably to complete the projected work to a depth of 
10 feet. 

From Bull Creek to Winyah Bay th^ Waccamaw River has a chan- 
nel at no point less than 12 feet deep, and at no point less than 100 
feet wide, so that no further work will be required. 


It should be noted at the beginning that the United States is now 
engaged in excavating an 18-foot channel from Georgetown, through 


Winyah Bay, to the sea. The channel follows the so-called western 
line, passing close to the western shore of the bay, so that intra- 
coastal traffic passing down the Waccamaw River can reach the 
mouth of the Estherville-Minim Creek Canal without any improve- 
ment other than that now in progress. 

The canal line then enters the Estherville Canal, already constructed 
under Federal appropriations. This passage, having at present a 
depth of 6 feet, leads through low land in rear of Cat Island, reach- 
ing Minim Creek, a tributary of the North Santee Eiver. Enlarge- 
ment to full prism and limited dredging in Minim Creek and Crow 
Island Crossing will be required. Passing on, the canal crosses deep 
water of the North Santee to a point opposite the delta, where a solid 
cut is to be made through the low-lying marsh land, giving access to 
the South Santee. 

Unlike the north branch, the South Santee has little fresh water 
discharge, its flow being largely tidal. As a consequence its. depths 
are considerably less than those of the north branch, and in order 
to effect a crossing to the mouth of Alligator Creek it will be neces- 
sary to build training walls, as shown on the plan, and probably to 
establish a channel by dredging. It should be understood that the 
training walls are for purposes of effecting the crossing only ; and it 
is believed that once the channel has been established it will be held 
permanently in position with full depth. 

Leaving the South Santee River the canal line passes across a 
neck of land into Alligator Creek; following up that creek, utilizing 
its prism so far as practicable, to the broad marsh area of the Cape 
Romain Peninsula. 

Here again the canal utilizes the tidal passages where they have 
sufficient depth to offer economical location; otherwise crosses the 
marshes by direct cuts, terminating eventually in the straight, deep 
reaches of Harbor River south of McClellanville. 

From this point it is necessary to carry the canal through the 
marshes in rear of Bull Bay, as the latter is broad, open, and exposed 
to gales from the east. Existing tidal passages are utilized where 
practicable, and the route follows generally the cuts already effected 
in the course of the construction of a 4-foot waterway to McClellan- 

From Bull Bay southward to Charleston Harbor the work is less 
difficult. There is already in existence a waterway having depth of 
4 feet at mean low water, from which few departures are made. 
The line is continuously in rear of the sea islands, well sheltered, and 
economical of construction. 

Throughout this section, Winyah Bay to Charleston Harbor, the 
work leads continuously through soft and low lying material, such 
as can readily be removed by hydraulic dredges. Technically, it is 
necessary only to note that where the line is carried across broad, 
open sounds, having naturally little depth, it will be advisable, as 
on the North Carolina coast, to deposit the material to seaward of 
the cut, closing minor sloughs to seaward but leaving open the large 
tidal entrances and being particular to close no sloughs to landward. 

The canal location in this section terminates in deep water of 
Charleston Harbor at the entrance to Sullivans Island Cove. 



Within this section inland navigation is already well established, 
and in general the canal location follows the line now in use, leaving 
deep water of Charleston Harbor in the Ashley River at the entrance 
to Wappoo Creek, passing up that creek, up Stono River, through 
Church Flats, down Wadmelaw River, across North Edisto and up 
Dawho. These passages will require enlargement and limited recti- 
fication to make them suitable links to the intracoastal way. 

Halfway through Dawho the first variant is introduced, the line 
being carried up North Creek and directly across country into South 
Edisto River, this departure being designed to shorten the route and 
eliminate the tortuous upper Dawho. 

Passing down South Edisto and through the Fenwick Island Cut 
the line reaches Ashepoo River. Here a second variant is introduced. 
Vessels now pass down Ashepoo River into and across St. Helena 
Sound, but at considerable risk. This sound is broad, open, and 
exposed, and obstructed by long sand spits reaching well out toward 
the ocean. It has been deemed advisable to eliminate this hazardous 
crossing by carrying the canal across the marshland of Hutchinsons 
Islands, following the tidal creeks where practicable, and so into the 
sheltered waters of Coosaw River. This work involves considerable 
excavation, but the expense is justified by the superior convenience 
and safety of the route so secured. 

The canal line is then carried up deep water of Coosaw River to 
and through Brickyard Creek to Beaufort River, passing down the 
latter to Port Royal. 

Here, again, a departure from the present route is made to obviate 
the necessity of crossing Port Royal Sound, where conditions are 
similar to those at St. Helena. This can be accomplished at small 
expense by enlarging Archers Creek and the Rose Islands Passage, 
thus providing a sheltered way from the Beaufort River across 
Broad River and down Chechessee to mouth of Skull Creek. 

From this point on, by way of Skull Creek, Calibogue Sound, and 
Cooper River, which are adequate without improvement, the small 
passage called Ramshorn Creek can be reached. The Ramshorn is 
to be dredged and straightened, the canal line following thence to 
and down the deep waters of New and Wrights Rivers to Mud River. 
The latter, having now depths varying from 6.5 to 10 feet, will, with 
little dredging, carry the route through to deep water of Savan- 
nah River. 

All of the work from Charleston Harbor to Savannah River can 
be accomplished by hydraulic dredges of moderate power. No hard 
material will be encountered, all excavation being in mud, shell, and 


On the coast of Georgia there has always existed a sheltered or 
inside waterway which has been known and used from the time of 
the earliest settlement of the colony. The extensive sea marshes and 
large sea islands lend themselves readily to the formation of such a 


The natural waterway has been improved and shortened by the 
Federal Government, first by works undertaken at detached localities, 
later under a general project as a single work. Expenditures to date 
have sufficed to secure a channel having a depth of 7 feet at mean 
low water and a bottom width of 75 feet minimum. The mean rise 
and fall of the tide along the route is about 7 feet, so that by taking 
advantage of the flood it is possible for vessels to pass through draw- 
ing as much as 12 feet. 

The development of this route to the dimensions required for the 
intracoastal waterway is comparatively a simple matter, being merely 
a question of dredging at a few localities. Only one change from the 
route now used is recommended, namely, the sections for Front and 
Sapelo Rivers, which are designed to avoid the difficult passage 
through Mud River. 

In detail, the canal location leaves the Savannah River by St. 
Augustine Creek, at the mouth of which a very small amount of 
dredging will be required, and passes down Wilmington River into 
Skid away Narrows. The latter is one of the few constricted points 
of this section; to increase its prism to that herein contemplated, 
excavation to the amount of 650,000 yards will be required. Leaving 
Skidaway Narrows the line passes into Burnside River, which will 
require some enlargement; thence into and down Vernon River to 
and through Hell Gate and by Ogeechee River to the Florida Pas- 
sage. The latter is another constricted section where excavation 
amounting to 83,000 yards will be necessary. Continuing southward 
the line passes through Beaver River, across into St. Catherine 
Sound, and up Newport River to and through Waldburg and John- 
sons Creeks. Here again a small amount of dredging will open the 
way to projected width and depth. From Johnsons Creek the line 
passes into South Newport River, across and up Sapelo Sound and 
to the mouth of Front River. Passing through Front River, Creigh- 
ton Narrows, South Sapelo Dividings, and Old Teakettle Creek 
many shoals and constrictions are encountered, the removal of which 
will require excavation aggregating 642,000 yards. From this region 
the line passes down to and across Doboy Sound, through Darien 
River, into Old South River and Little Mud River, where further 
dredging, about 251,600 cubic yards in amount, is needed; thence to 
and across Altamaha Sounds up Buttermilk Sound, and through 
Frederica River to St. Simon Sound. The Frederica Passage, like 
the previous dividings, will require a limited amount of dredging. 
Leaving St. Simon Sound the line passes through Jekyl Creek, now 
under improvement, but requiring additional dredging to the amount 
of 268,000 yards to secure the prism now designed. Passing Jeky. 
Creek the line crosses St. Andrews Sound, passes up Cumberland 
River and down Cumberland Sound to Fernandina, requiring onl 
limited dredging at the dividings en route to provide the fuL 

On the Georgia coast no rock will be encountered. The materia! 
is such as can readily be handled by hydraulic dredges of moderate, 
power. It may later be found necessary for purposes of maintenance 
to construct training walls at a few localities; and for this purpose 
$50,000 has been included in the estimates. 



This section is quite similar to that of the Georgia coast, with the 
exception that the existing inland channel is more constricted and 
tortuous, especially in that portion of the section from Nassau Sound 
to the St. Johns River. 

Leaving Fernandina on Cumberland Sound, the line of the canal 
follows up Amelia River, through Kingsleys Cut and South Amelia 
River to Nassau Sound, with no work required except a cut through 
a neck of marshland and to avoid a difficult bend in Kingsleys Cut and 
light dredging at occasional points in that cut and South Amelia 
River. Leaving South Amelia River, the route, by a cut across a 
neck of marshland, enters Sawpit Creek and follows that stream for 
a distance of a little over 1 mile, and thence, in preference to fol- 
lowing the crooked, constricted channel of Sisters Creek, leads by a 
short marsh cut to Cedar Point; thence through a short section of 
Sisters Creek and through a second marsh cut, following the general 
depression of Hannah Mills Creek to the St. Johns River in rear of 
the White Shells training wall, which, built in connection with the 
improvement of that stream, forms a satisfactory protection to the 
channel extending from the marsh cut to the main channel of the St. 

No material is encountered along any portion of this section which 
can not be economically removed by a hydraulic dredge of moderate 


(a) St. Johns River section. — The canal through this section fol- 
lows the existing channel in the St. Johns River, which now provides 
a depth in excess of 10 feet to a point 93.5 miles south of the entrance 
of the canal from Fernandina. From this point to Sanford, on Lake 
Monroe, a farther distance of 73.7 miles, the river is now being im- 
proved by dredging and rectification, under a project which contem- 
plates securing a convenient channel 8 feet deep and 100 feet wide. 
As a general thing the canal alignment follows that of the existing 
project, the work required being merely that of enlargement to the 
prism adopted by the board. In addition a number of bends, suffi- 
ciently convenient for an 8-foot channel but too sharp to meet the 
requirements of the intracoastal way, are avoided by cuts across 
points. The inconsiderable slope of the stream and the slight eleva- 
tion of the land on the point to be thus treated simplify exceedingly 
the engineering features of the work. 

Between Lake Harney and Lake Monroe, a distance of 22.6 miles, 
I the river is very crooked, the banks low and ill defined, and for 
b most of the distance wide expanses of marshy land, interspersed 
Y with shallow sloughs and ponds, border the stream. Above Lake 
^ Harney to Salt Creek the conditions are very similar, the marshes 

being even more extensive, the bends and twists more pronounced. 
I The Federal Government is already committed to a project for the 
z improvement of that section of the stream between Lakes Harney 
6 and Monroe, which contemplates securing an available depth of 5 
feet and ample width for boats of light draft. The work required is 
H. Doc. 229, 6&-1 3 


slight and consists mainly in the removal of the shoals at the outlet 
of Lake Harney and inlet of Lake Monroe, and a limited amount of 
dredging here and there to deepen or widen the existing channel. 

For a waterway of the magnitude of the one under consideration, 
utilization of this inadequate and crooked stream is neither econom- 
ical nor advisable at many places. The line adopted, therefore, while 
it follows the river where practicable, notably from Mullet Lake to 
Lake Harney, substitutes marsh cuts for the existing channel between 
Lakes Mullet and Monroe, while between Lake Harney and Salt Run 
it adheres more to the river lowland than to the thread of the 
stream. No trouble is anticipated from this character of treatment, 
as there is no appreciable difference in elevation between Salt Run 
and Lake Harney, either at high or low water stages, and only four- 
tenths of a foot difference between Lakes Harney and Monroe at low 
water and one and six-tenths feet at high water. All of the excava- 
tion can be readily accomplished by hydraulic dredges. 

(b) Salt Run-Lakes Ruth, Shad, and Salt. — Entering Salt Run 
at point of confluence with the St. Johns River, 193 miles south 
of its entrance into the latter stream, the canal follows the general 
alignment of Salt Run, through Lake Ruth in a general easterly di- 
rection, thence northeasterly into and through Shad Lake, and again 
easterly into and through Salt Lake to the edge of the divide between 
the valleys of the St. Johns and Indian Rivers. These lakes and con- 
necting waterways have a depth of 2.5 feet at low water and at such 
a stage cover an area of about 1,100 acres. At high water the lakes 
are all connected, the surrounding country becoming one large lake, 
covering thousands of acres and extending to Lake Harney. Both 
at high and low water differences in water surface elevations are 
slight, and little trouble need be anticipated from excessive currents. 
To allow for the depression of water elevations at higher points due 
to the increased prism of flow, excavation, which can be all done by 
hydraulic means, is estimated below mean low water of the river at 
Lake Harney. 

(c) Salt Lake-Indian River. — This section consists of a cut 15.5 
miles long, through the divide between the St. Johns and Indian 
River Valleys. In the first mile from Salt Lake leading eastwardly 
the ground rises to -f- 16 feet, from this point to the fourth mile 
gradually to + 28 feet, descends in the fifth mile to + 20 feet, and in 
the last half mile to + 4 feet, the mean high-water stage of the 
Indian River. 

In the westerly 4 miles of the canal line the country through 
which the route extends is principally marsh, hammock, and open 
pine lands, uncultivated and with no population. The easterly mile 
and a half is through a well-settled country interspersed with valuable 
orange groves. 

Borings taken throughout the proposed prism indicate that for 
the most part sand is to be expected, with some coquina rock in thin 

The low-water level of Salt Lake is -J- 6, while that of the Indian 
River is about 0.0, the high-water elevations being, respectively, 
+ 12.7 and -j- 4. To provide against an undue current through the 
canal in this section, and also against possible injury to the St. Johns 
River between Salt Run and Lake Monroe by a diversion through an 


open cut of the river flow in high stages, a standard lock is provided 
for, which will have a low-water lift of 4.8 and a possible maximum 
lift of 12.7 feet. 

Two railroad bridges at the standard unit cost are provided for 
in the estimates to carry the main line and a branch line of the 
Florida East Coast Railroad, and excavation has been placed at 
the figure adopted for steam-shovel work. 


(a) Indian River-Jupiter Inlet. — The Indian River, more prop- 
erly a salt-water lagoon, varying in width from three-fourths of a 
mile to 5 miles, except at Indian River Narrows, where the stream 
is divided into many narrow channels, extends from a point about 7 
miles north of Titusville to St. Lucie Inlet, its present mouth. 
Before the opening of St. Lucie Inlet the discharge of the stream 
was at Jupiter Inlet, about 16 miles farther south. This inlet is 
closed at the present time, but ma} 7 be expected to break open at times 
of heavy rains, closing again as the fresh-water flow decreases. 

While the channel of the Indian River is for the most part deeper 
than 6 feet, and over a considerable mileage has a depth equal to or 
exceeding that of the waterway being considered, it was originally 
obstructed at various points by sand shoals, upon the removal of 
which, to an available depth of 5 feet, the Federal Government has 
expended some $59,342.98. 

Entering the Indian River from the cut through the St. Johns- 
Indian River divide, the canal extends under the protection of suit- 
able parallel dikes to the main channel of the stream, which is 
followed thence southerly to Jupiter Inlet. 

The work required consists in dredging and rock excavation to 
adapt the present channel to the needs of the proposed canal. The 
shifting sands of the St. Lucie Inlet crossing, always a troublesome 
locality, are avoided by a cut through the short neck of mangrove 
swamp lying between Great Pocket and Pecks Lake. 

(b) Jupiter Inlet-Lake Worth. — From Jupiter Inlet the line 
passes southerly through Jupiter Sound, where widening and deep- 
ening of an existing channel are required, into Lake Worth Creek, 
a small navigable stream which has been improved by the Florida 
East Coast Canal Co., and, by widening, deepening, and straighten- 
ing, follows that stream to Lake Worth. This body of water, more 
properly a salt-water lagoon, varies in width from about 1,000 feet 
to 1 mile, has a length of 21 miles in a north and south direction, 
and a depth in excess of 6 feet for 60 per cent of its length, and for 
the remainder a depth of from 3 to 6 feet. The only work here re- 
quired is that of widening and deepening. 

(c) Lake Worth — Hawk Channel. — Leaving the south end of Lake 
Worth the alignment follows that of the Florida East Coast Canal 
for a distance of 15.1 miles to the Hillsboro River. 

The work required will consist of widening and deepening this 
canal, the water-surface width of which is but 60 feet and the mid- 
channel depth 5 feet to standard section, which will necessitate the 
rehandling of at least one-half of the material excavated by the canai 
company. Except for a total distance of about 3 miles, where rock 


will be met with at depths ranging from —7 to —8. the material to be 
excavated will be mud and sand. 

The Hillsboro River, a small but navigable tidal stream, discharg- 
ing at Hillsboro Inlet, about 3.2 miles south of its source, has been 
improved by the Florida East Coast Canal Co. by widening and 
deepening, and the line follows generally the alignment of that com- 
pany's work, departing from it where necessary to avoid sharp bends. 
The material to be encountered is sand and mud. except for a distance 
of something less than 1 mile, through which rock excavation is 
required below —8 feet. 

Avoiding the shifting sands at the mouth of Hillsboro Inlet by 
2.500 feet of cut across the marsh, the line again enters the Florida 
East Coast Canal and follows it to Xew River Inlet, departing from 
it to avoid that inlet by a cut across the marshes into and through 
Lake Mable and into Xew River. 

Xew River is followed for a distance of about 1 mile, when the 
Florida East Coast Canal is again entered, and advantage is taken 
of the excavation of its prism thence to Biscayne Bay, except for a 
distance of 1 mile through Dumfounding Bay. 

Entering Biscayne Bay at its northern extremity, the canal is 
located to take advantage of the deepest water, which varies from ± 
to 6 feet to Miami, where an artificial channel excavated by the 
Florida East Coast Railroad for their Xassau-Miami boats is entered 
and followed to Hawk Channel. Little work will be required in 
this latter section, as the depth is already in excess of 10 feet for 
most of the distance. Widening at bends and in constricted portions 
will be necessary, but will all be in sand, easily removable. 

(d) Haick Channel — Key West. Fla. — Xo work is required in this 
section, as the existing channel offers an available depth of 10 feet 
or over with an ample width for the entire distance. 

10. The results of the detailed surveys covered by the foregoing 
description of the final location are shown on the maps 1 submitted 
with this report, as follows: 

Beaufort to Little River Inlet : 1 index sheet. 23 local map sheets. 

Little River Inlet to vVinyah Bay: 1 index sheet. 7 local map sheets. 

TTinyah Bay to Charleston Harbor: 1 index sheet, 14 local map 

Charleston Harbor to Savannah River : 1 index sheet, 12 local map 

Savannah River to Fernandina : 1 index sheet, 9 local map sheets. 
Fernandina to Key West : 8 index sheets. 89 local map sheets. 

Section V. — Engineering Considerations. 

1. DEPTH. 

As the language of the act distinctly contemplates the construc- 
tion of a through waterway, the board holds that the canal should 
be of uniform depth throughout. To introduce any link of depth 
less than the remainder would be to defeat the primary purpose: 
similarly to reduce the depth at either end section would only in less 
degree hamper through traffic. 

1 Not printed. 


To fix upon the uniform depth for adoption the board has taken 
into consideration, first, the language of the act, which mentions a 
maximum depth of 12 feet, and, second, the probable cost and form 
of utilization. As to the 12-foot depth, it may be said that this 
appears to be neither here nor there; it is not great enough to carry 
vessels of large size; it is greater than need be for carrying light- 
draft or barge traffic. It appears at once that some lesser depth will 
accomplish all the purposes to be accomplished by a 12-foot depth, 
and naturally at much less cost. 

Viewing this as a strictly inland waterway, the board has endeav- 
ored to ascertain what will be the most economical type of craft for 
handling the traffic. A conclusion should not be based solely upon 
existing economical types of boats. It is necessary to bear in mind 
that this is a work of magnitude, and it is quite certain that if the 
demands of commerce are so pressing as to justify the work these 
demands will also justify the adoption of an economical and advan- 
tageous form of transportation regardless of forms now in use. The 
board finds that barges carrying 1,000 tons on an 8-foot draft, han- 
dled by towboats of no greater draft, provided probably the best and 
least costly means of moving freight on sheltered waterways, and 
experience on this coast indicates that such will be provided in place 
of the types now engaged in the inland navigation. 

This gives a good criterion for determining the proper depth for 
the intracoastal canal; it is largely to meet the requirements of such 
traffic that the board has fixed upon 10 feet for its present design. 
This depth will well accommodate the barge traffic anticipated, even 
permitting slight deterioration without interrupting commerce. It 
will also accommodate all types of craft now used in the local zone 
traffic on these coasts or any others likely to be used. 

But any depth less than 10 feet will probably be insufficient for 
through traffic, while a depth greater than 10 feet within the limits 
specified by the act will accommodate no additional traffic. 

Passing for the time being the usability of the 10-foot as against a 
12-foot canal, the question of relative costs is determinative. Through 
ordinary country, where the work will be simple, a 12-foot canal 
will cost approximately 30 per cent more than a 10- foot canal. 
Through difficult sections, where cutting is heavy, the increase of cost 
will be much greater, and there are many miles of this latter. More- 
over, the 10-foot canal as designed passes through many sections 
where 10 feet can be excavated in favorable material at reasonable 
cost, but where 12-foot excavation would encounter rock. A similar 
consideration is found in sections such as Indian River, where 10 feet 
of cutting already reaches rock at many points and where the addi- 
tional 2 feet will be simply so much more rock cutting. More im- 
portant yet, an unavoidable feature of this waterway will be the 
inclusion of the Hawk Channel from Biscayne Bay to Key West. 
This has a controlling depth of 10 feet, and if for any minor pur- 
poses 12 feet should be selected as against 10 it would involve the 
large additional work of improving the Hawk Channel. 

The foregoing discusses depths mainly from the commercial and 
financial points of view. So far as naval uses are concerned the 12- 
foot depth mentioned in the act would accommodate few naval ves- 
sels which could not with equal facility navigate a 10-foot canal ; and 
on the other hand, 10 feet is about the least that can be used by 


vessels of the Navy. For military purposes there is no particular 
significance either way; a 10-foot depth is sufficiently well adapted. 

In view of all considerations the board has selected 10 feet as the 
correct depth for this canal, from end to end. 


Experience on the South Atlantic coast indicates that a minimum 
width of 100 feet will be required. This should obtain upon long 
tangents where the canal passes through marsh or solid land in 
such way that the banks furnish visual guides. At bends the width 
should be increased to a degree, such that as between adjacent tan- 
gents a curve of 1,000 feet radius will lie within the channel. Also, 
where the canal passes through broad, open waters, there being no 
visual guides, the width should be increased to 150 or 200 feet. In 
brief, the board has selected the following bottom widths : 

Through marsh or solid cut, 100 feet. 

Through open waters showing a lateral expanse of 1,000 feet, the bottom 
width shall be 150 feet. 

Through open waters showing a lateral expanse of 1 mile or more, the bottom 
width shall be 200 feet. 

For the complete prism, basing its action upon experience on this 
coast, the board has determined that through the soft material of 
the sea-level sections side slopes shall be one-fourth where the 
bottom width is 100 feet, and one-third where the bottom width is 
greater than 100 feet. In the sections of solid excavation across 
country the prism is to have side slopes of one-half to an elevation 
of 2 feet above the water surface where a 10-foot berm is to be pro- 
vided on each side, and above the berm side slopes are to continue 

In addition to these requirements as to bottom width and side 
slopes, the board inserts a recommendation that turning and passing 
basins, where they do not already exist, shall be provided at least 
once in each 3 miles of length, but leaves the actual location of these 
basins to the constructing officer. Amounts sufficient to cover the 
additional excavation have been included in the estiniates. 


(a) Locks. — Based largely upon the type of barge probably to be 
used on this canal, the board has determined that locks shall have 
usable length of 400 feet, with width of 45 feet. Locks are to be of 
concrete, of simple design, on piles and surrounded by sheet piles 
where necessary ; are to be provided with steel gates, hand operated, 
and with filling and emptying culverts in the walls; miter sills and 
quoins to be oi granite. 

At certain of the locks the water supply will at times be limited. 
In these cases locks should be provided with intermediate gates at 
half length, and in extreme cases with an additional set of interme- 
diate gates at one-fourth length, these being intended to reduce the 
loss of water involved in the lockage of small craft. 

(b) Dams. — Where dams are placed across flowing rivers, as. in 
the Waccamaw, the portions which cross the river proper are de- 
signed to be of concrete, gravity section, with heavy back fill of 
earth, and the portions which cross the swamps are to consist of 
suitable forms of concrete spillway with sheet-pile water seal, and 


concrete or stone pavings to prevent undercutting at the toe. Where 
dams are placed as spillways across quiet rivers, such as Shallotte 
and Lockwoods Folly, they should be of concrete with gravity sec- 
tion, founded upon piles and provided with sheet-pile water seals 
upstream. Where dams are used on the coast sections for closing 
tidal streams, they are to be of earth with flat slopes, to include a 
concrete core wall founded upon piles and provided with sheet-pile 
water seals under and built up into the core wall, and riprap or 
concrete protection against wave wash. 

(c) Bridges. — As the proposed waterway must cross railroads and 
highways, it is necessary to include in the estimate provision for 
construction of highway and railroad bridges. There appears to be 
no occasion for determining at this time precisely what types shall be 
used. It is sufficient to say that these bridges should be designed 
each to fit its particular locality; that ixi general they should be of 
steel, of simple design, and permanent in character, founded upon 
masonry piers. At each bridge it will be necessary to provide a 
bridge keeper's dwelling, which also should be of simple character. 

(d) Training walls and breakwaters. — Few of these will be re- 
quired, but at those points where such constructions must be had, 
they should be of stone, in large fragments. 

(e) Beacons. — As indicated later in the estimates, it has been 
necessary to include provision for marking the channels. These 
marks will, in general, be of the reenforced-concrete pile type, sur- 
mounted where necessary by light steel towers. 

Section VI. Estimate of Cost. 


From the description of the route as adopted it will have been 
gathered that the undertaking will involve but few classes of work. 
By far the largest items are those of excavation, and conditions in 
the different sections are sufficiently similar to permit the reduction 
of excavation for purposes of estimate to three classes, namely: 

That which can be accomplished by hydraulic dredging. 

That which lies well above sea level through solid earth and is to be accom- 
plished by steam shovels. 

That which must be accomplished by special means, where rock is found 
lying above the bottom level of the canal. 

The general conditions under which these classes will in the vari- 
ous localities be undertaken are so similar that the board has felt 
justified in adopting for each class a single unit price. 

In case of hydraulic dredging the board acts in the light of long- 
experience in methods and costs on this coast. It is found that where 
work of this character can be let in large quantities, or where it is 
undertaken by day labor with first-class plant, the cost reaches ap- 
proximately 15 cents per cubic yard. This figure is taken as the 
unit price for this class of work. 

In the case of ordinary earth excavation above sea level and where 
the excavation is accomplished by the usual steam-shovel methods 
the board finds that on well-managed railway and similar work in 
these sections the work has generally cost 25 cents per cubic yard. 
This is taken as the unit price for upland-earth excavation. 


Rock removal is found principally upon the Florida coast. This 
rock is in general coral or coquina of no great hardness or compact- 
ness, but nevertheless not easily removed. Experience with previous 
work of this character indicates the advisability of placing the unit 
cost at 75 cents per cubic yard, which is used in these estimates. 


(a) Locks. — It is found that all of the locks to be provided in the 
course of this construction are to be built at locations where approxi- 
mately the same conditions prevail. Costs should be very nearly 
the same in all cases. The board has therefore estimated the cost oi 
a typical lock, arriving at the figure of $450,000, which is used for 
each case and which includes cost of lock keeper's dwellings and all 

(h) Dams. — Unlike the locks, the dams will vary greatly in char- 
acter. Each one is figured according to conditions obtaining at the 
particular locality and according to the type to be built. 

(c) Training walls. — Here again each is figured according to the 
conditions obtaining at the particular locality. 

(d) Bridges. — Highway bridges will be of approximately the same 
design throughout. These are figured at $20,000 each, with bridge 
keeper's dwelling at $5,000. For railway bridges $75,000 each is 

(e) Beacons. — The board has included in the estimates amounts 
to cover the cost of marking the channels. This is believed to be 
advisable in this case, as during the progress of dredging and excava- 
tion it will be necessary to erect a great many marks, and as operations 
will be continued over a period of years it will be found economical 
to make these marks of a more or less permanent character. This 
suggests that the marks may with propriety be made actually perma- 
nent and similar to those ordinarily used in lighting navigable water- 
wa3 7 s. The board proposes therefore to provide in this way for the 
expense of erecting suitable permanent day marks, and proposes 
that these marks shall later be turned over to proper authority for 
lighting. The cost has been placed at $200 each. 

(/) Rights of way. — TYliere the canal location line passes through 
navigable water ways, open sounds, or marine marshes, no estimate 
for acquisition of right of way has been included. > 

Where the line passes through habitable, privately owned, or 
cultivated lands, amounts have been included in the estimate suffi- 
ciently large to cover the cost of acquisition of right of way 1,000 feet 
wide, based upon unit costs ascertained by inquiry in the particu- 
lar locality affected. 

( g) Finally. — To cover all additional surveys which must pre- 
cede construction, to meet changes in conditions likely to arise before 
work is actually began, and to provide for all accidental costs and 
charges which can not well be foreseen, the customary 10 per cent for 
contingencies is added to the amount of all the foregoing estimates. 

The general estimates follow : 

1. Beaufort, N. C, to Cape Fear River, N. C. 

21,116.000 cubic yards hydraulic dredging $3, 167, 400 

1 bridge at Wrtghtsrdle. Tidewater Power Co 25, 000 

1 bridge at New Ha., over Transit Co.'s Railroad 25, 000 


1 bridge, Wilmington to Federal Point Highway $20, 000 

Right of way, 10,217 acres 171,000 

1 guard lock 450, 000 

Stone jetties, Cape Fear River 80,000 

Beacons 3, 500 

Contingencies 394, 100 

Total 4, 336, 000 

2. Cape Fear River to Little River, N. C. 

Excavation of 3,542,000 cubic yards by steam shovel $885, 500 

Excavation of 10,626,000 cubic yards hydraulic dredging 1,593,900 

2,750 acres of right of way 82,500 

940 acres of clearing 47,000 

Damages to property 63, 000 

400 acres of land submerged 12,000 

1 lock near the head of Elizabeth River 450,000 

Davis Creek dam 11, 750 

Lockwoods Folly River dam 100, 000 

Little Saucepan Creek dam 4, 170 

Big Saucepan Creek dam 6, 400 

Shallotte River dam 100,000 

Calabash Creek dam 21,000 

Mulletts Creek dam 1 6, 000 

4 highway bridges, at $20,000 each 80, 000 

Beacons 1, 500 

Contingencies 346, 280 

Total 3, 811, 000 

S. Little River to Winyah Bay. 

(a) Main canal, Mulletts Creek-Bear Bluff: 

Right of way, 1,000 feet wide, 2,326 acres. $69, 780. 00 
Clearing and grubbing one-half right of 

way, 1,163 acres 58, 150. 00 

Excavation, 6,840,972 cubic yards 1, 710, 243. 00 

4 locks 1,800,000.00 

2 bridges 40,000.00 

2 dwellings 10, 000. 00 

$3, 688, 173. 00 

(&) Feeder canal: 

Right of way, 500 feet wide, 356 acres___ 10, 680. 00 

Clearing and grubbing, 356 acres 17, 800. 00 

Excavation, 760,583 cubic yards 190, 145. 75 

2 control works, at $20,000 40, 000. 00 

258, 625. 75 

(c) Pireway reservoir: 

Land flooded to elevation 35, 25,477 acres 

at $1 25,477.00 

Pireway Dam 700,000.00 

725, 477. 00 

{d) Bear Bluff to Conway: 

Right of way, 392 acres 11, 760. 00 

Clearing and grubbing one-half right of 

way, 196 acres 9, 800. 00 

Excavation, 843,000 cubic yards 210, 750. 00 

232, 310. 00 

(e) Lock and dam at Conway : 

Lock 450, 000. 00 

Dam 250, 000. 00 

700, 000. 00 

(/) Conway to Bull Creek, open-river work 150,000.00 

(g) Engineering and contingencies 575, 414. 25 


6, 330, 000. 00 


4. Winyah Bay to Charleston Harbor. 



Estherville-Mmiin Creek Canal and North Santee River. 

San tee Delta Crossing and South Santee River 

Training walls, South Santee River 

South Santee to Mud Bay 

Through Oyster Bay to Bull River 

Bull River to Harbor River 

Harbor River to Van Ross Creek and Bull Bay Marsh. . 

Sewee Bay 

Bull Narrows 

Santee Pass and Dewees Inlet to Bullyard Sound 

Seven Reaches through Long Island Creek 

Sullivans Island Narrows and The Cove 



Engineering and contingencies. 


Cubic yards, 
2, 420, 892 
629, 480 

2, 375, 834 
836, 302 
365, 528 

2, 124, 116 
524, 706 

1, 353, 273 

767, 723 

S363, 133. 80 
94, 422. 00 
364, 000. 00 
356, 375. 10 
54, 829. 20 
318, 617. 40 
78, 705. 90 
202, 990. 95 
227, 942. 70 

2, 401, 676. 35 
3, 000. 00 


5. Charleston Harbor to Savannah River. 



Wappo Creek 

Stono Rivei 

Church Flats 

New Cut 

Wadmelaw River 

Dawho River 

From Dawho through Nerth Creek. 

From Edisto to Coosaw Rirer 

Coosaw River and Brickyard Creek 

Archers Creek 

Rose Islands Passage 

Ramshorn Creek 

Mud River 



Engineering and contingencies. 


Cubic yards. 
367, 295 
156, 919 
279, 376 

44, 100 
579, 349 
650, 220 
1, 282, 168 
323, 672 
525, 681 

331, 891 
290, 606 

41, 906. 40 
6, 615.00 

48, 550. 80 
78, 852. 15 
6, 235.80 
49, 783. 65 
43, 590. 90 

4, 800. 00 
90, 110. 25 


6. Savannah River to Femandina. 



Mouth of St. Augustine Creek 

Skidaway Narrows 

Burnside River 

Florida Passage 

Waldburg Creek 

Johnsons Creek 

Front River: Creighton Narrows 

South Sapelo River dividings 

Old Teakettle Creek 

Old South River: Little Mud River. 

Altamana Sound 

Buttermilk Sound 

Frederica River 

Jekyl Creek 

Cumberland dividings 

Regulating works. 


Contingencies .... 

Cubic yards. 






12, 450.00 
37, 740.00 


326, 640. 00 



7. Fernandina to St. Johns River. 

Hydraulic dredging, 3,970,941 cubic yards $595, 041. 15 

Rock, 565 cubic yards 423. 75 

Contingencies . 60, 935. 10 

Total 657, 000. 00 

8. St. Johns River to Indian River, 

(a) St. Johns River section: 

Hydraulic dredging, 9 517,105 cubic yards $1, 427, 565. 75 

Right of way, 411 acres 4, 110. 00 

Beacons . 15, 000. 00 

Contingencies 145, 324. 25 

Total 1, 592, 000. 00 

(&) Lakes Ruth, Shad, and Salt Lake sections: 

Hydraulic dredging, 2,901,590 cubic yards 435, 23S. 50 

Right of way — 

182 acres 1, 820. 00 

345 acres 5, 175. 00 

Contingencies 44, 766. 50 

Total 487, 000. 00 

(c) Salt Lake, Indian River section : 

Steam-shovel excavation, 2,759,296 cubic yards 689, 824. 00 

Lock 450, 000. 00 

Right of way, 381 acres 27, 065. 00 

1, 166, 889. 00 

2 bridges 150, 000. 00 

Contingencies 132, 111. 00 

Total 1, 449, 000. 00 

9. Indian River. 

(a) Indian River — Jupiter Inlet: 

Hydraulic dredging, 17,640,952 cubic yards $2, 646, 142. 80 

Rock, 697,992 cubic yards 523, 494. 00 

Right of way — 

15 acres 750. 00 

282 acres 2,820.00 

Beacons 20, 000. 00 

Contingencies 321, 793. 20 

Total 3, 515, 000. 00 

(6) Jupiter Inlet — Lake Worth section : 

Hydraulic dredging, 5,202,280 cubic yards 780, 342. 00 

Right of way — 

417 acres 4, 170. 00 

10 acres 10,000.00 

794, 512. 00 

Value Florida East Coast Canal excavation, 389,825 cubic 

yards 58, 473. 75 

Beacons 5,000.00 

Contingencies 86, 014. 25 

Total , 944, 000. 00 


(c) Lake Worth — Biscayne Bay section: 

Hydraulic dredging, 12,717,799 cubic yards 1 $1, 907, 669. 85 

Rock, 1,380,800 cubic yards 1, 035, 600. 00 

Right of way, 5,030 acres 150, 900. 00 

Beacons 5, 000. 00 

Value Florida East Coast Canal excavation, 1,018,897 

cubic yards 152, 834. 55 

Contingencies 327, 995. 60 

Total 3, 580. 000. 00 

(d) Biscayne Bay — Hawk Channel : 

Hydraulic dredging, 1,395,S44 cubic yards .. 209, 376. 60 

l Rock, 161,300 cubic yards 120,975.00 

Beacons 10, 000. 00 

Contingencies 33, 648. 40 

Total 374, 000. 00 

10. Hawk Channel — Key West. 

No work required. 


1. Beaufort— Cape Fear River $4,336,000.00 

2. Cape Fear River— Little River 3, 811, 000. 00 

3. Little River— Winyah Bay 6,330,000.00 

4. Winyah Bay — Charleston Harbor 2, 645, 000. 00 

5. Charleston Harbor— Savannah River 897, 000. 00 

6. Savannah River— Fernandina 437. 000. 00 

7. Fernandina — St. Johns River 657, 000. 00 

8. St. Johns River— Indian River 3, 528, 000. 00 

9. Indian River— Hawk Channel 8,413,000.00 

10. Hawk Channel— Key West . 00 

Grand total 31, 054, 000. 00 

Maintenance. — To undertake at this stage a precise estimate of 
cost of maintenance is to enter upon a problem in which there are 
many unknown quantities. However, the board has examined this 
question in the light of all experience had on the South Atlantic 
coast, computing maintenance in several ways, as by estimating the 
items of plant required, and the cost of operating them; by esti- 
mating the probable deterioration of channels and the usual cost of 
restoration, and in other similar ways, comparing ultimately the 
maintenance costs so deduced. Taking each geographical section 
by itself, it is found that these independently computed costs are 
reasonably consistent; that in each section the annual cost of main- 
tenance works out at approximately 2 per cent of the first cost 
of construction, and in this are included all ordinary charges for 
operation and care. 

On these grounds, believing that maintenance charges should not 
accrue during the period of actual construction, the board estimates 
that the annual cost of maintenance and operation can reasonably 
be placed at 2 per cent of the initial cost of the work, i. e., $620,000 
per annum, and it is expected that as time goes on this figure will 
be underrun rather than exceeded. 


Section VII. Commercial. Naval, and Military Utilization. 

i. commercial. 

The history of commercial development on this coast demonstrates 
that utilization of an inland waterway will be of two distinct kinds, 
the first being that which will develop within local zones and the 
second being that which will pass from zone to zone ; in other words, 
" local " and " through " traffic. 

(a) Local zone traffic. — The board believes that development will 
take place first within the local zones. There are now many us- 
able harbors on the South Atlantic coast. The productions of the 
country adjacent to these harbors seek the ports as outlets, and where 
inland waterways now exist it is found that much commerce passes 
from the interior down the river systems to points of intersection 
with the inland ways, and so to the nearest commercial ports. Simi- 
larly, the harbor cities are centers of distribution for materials and 
supplies required in the interior. Commodities come to the ports 
by ocean-going ships and are distributed to the interior via the inland 
waterways and river systems. A considerable development of this 
traffic of concentration and distribution within zones tributary to the 
seaports has already taken place on the coast of Georgia, and less on 
the coasts of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida. 

A few figures and detailed statements are given to illustrate the 
present, and to furnish some basis of estimate of prospective condi- 

The North Carolina coast. — A regular commerce is carried on 
between Swansboro and Newbern, a line of small steamers running 
continuously between these points. During the fiscal year 1910 
there were reported 26 steamers and 75 sailing vessels as having used 
this route. The freight consisted principally of timber, general 
merchandise, fertilizer, and marine products, amounting to 25,347 
tons, valued at $522,655. 

Between Swansboro and New Eiver there is a limited traffic carried 
on by gasoline boats and sailing vessels handling fertilizer, general 
merchandise, timber, naval stores, and marine products. This 
amounted during 1910 to 4,590 tons, valued at $151,520. 

At Swansboro the canal line crosses the White Oak Eiver, which 
may be expected to act as a tributary feeder, and although the ton- 
nage carried on that river is not compiled annually the report of the 
last preliminary examination estimated its commerce at 21,532 tons, 
valued at $413,625, consisting of lumber, timber, and general mer- 

Similarly New Eiver, which connects with the canal and leads up 
to Jacksonville, N. C, may be considered as a commercial feeder. 
The records show New Eiver navigated during 1910 by 10 steamers 
and 10 sailing vessels, which carried in that year 44,320 tons, valued 
at $379,667, of lumber, timber, naval stores, general merchandise, and 
marine products. While the Jacksonville, N. C, freight is now car- 
ried largely by the Atlantic Coast Line Eailroad, it is believed that 
with communication from that point to Wilmington via the proposed 
canal a large part of the incident traffic will be diverted to water 
transportation, reaching possibly ^ value of $500,000 annually. 


Between New River and Cape Fear River there is a section of coast 
which at present supports no water-borne traffic, but which should 
contribute to the commerce of the intracoastal canal to an amount, 
judging by conditions existing in the adjacent territory, of about 
$500,000 per annum. 

South of Cape Fear entrance the proposed canal line will pass 
through a section of country now without any means of inland com- 
munication with any seaport. . A line of sharpies and small steamers 
run outside between TTilmington and Little River, carrying supplies 
for a large section of country tributary to the latter. Sharpies also 
ply between Wilmington and Lockwoods Folly and Shallotte Rivers. 
The commerce of Lockwoods Folly River in 1905. when last tabu- 
lated, amounted to 2,005 tons, valued at $47,568: it is believed to be 
larger at the present time. Commodities are cotton, corn, hay, naval 
stores, lumber, and general merchandise. The trade of the Shallotte 
in 1909 amounted to 5,000 tons, valued at 8200.000, consisting princi- 
pally of naval stores, lumber, cotton, fertilizer, and general merchan- 
dise. There is also a small commerce upon the Elizabeth River, esti- 
mated in 1910 to be about 2.000 tons, valued at $23,690. 

The foregoing traffic of the Xorth Carolina coast is tabulated 
below : 










C 1 ) 

379. 667 
497. 56S 

Wilmington to Lockwoods Folly 

Wilmington to Shallotte 

Wilmington to Little River 


108, 745 

2, 4S6, 468 

1 Estimated. 

It is expected that the Xorth Carolina tonnage will be more than 
doubled as soon as facilities are provided by the proposed waterway : 
in addition there should work up a large new traffic in coal, lumber, 
fertilizer, cotton, and other products as between Wilmington and 
regions now inaccessible. 

The South Carolina coast. — Local zone traffic here shows two 
phases and its possibilities are promising. 

In the first place, there is the ordinary coastal trade picked up in 
localities adjacent to the coast and carried to the nearest port and 
the return distribution from ports to strictly coastal regions. This 
is exemplified upon the Charleston-McClellanville waterway, which, 
while now only 4 feet deep, nevertheless carries approximately 40.000 
tons per annum, valued at slightly over $1,000,000. A similar small- 
boat traffic is carried by the waterways to the south of Charleston, 
concentrating country products at Charleston and Savannah and dis- 
tributing supplies as return cargoes. Xo figures are now available, 
though this traffic is understood to be somewhat larger than that to 
the north of Charleston. 

In the second place, there is traffic upon the interior rivers, notably 
the TVaccamaw, Great Peedee. Santee, and Congaree systems, all of 


which is of the concentration and distribution order, reaching con- 
siderable volume. Thus, in 1910 the figures were as follows: 



79, 582 





All of this is at present necessarily carried on through the port of 
Georgetown. Imports reach Georgetown by ocean-going vessels and 
are distributed by river steamers. Exports are shipped from the 
interior to Georgetown for delivery to deep-sea carriers. It is a 
question of reaching the coast at the only accessible port, and the 
commerce does as well as it can under the limitations of Georgetown's 
15-foot harbor. A study of the situation shows that were these river 
systems connected with Charleston, Savannah, or Wilmington the 
increased convenience and economy should lead to rapid multiplica- 
tion of business. Such connections would be effected by the mtra- 
coastal canal. 

The coast of Georgia. — Over this section of the route, which is in 
much better condition than that to the north, the commerce is large 
and varied. Eight combined freight and passenger steamers make 
regular runs. Barges carry naval stores, crossties, lumber, and mis- 
cellaneous freights to and from the ports of Savannah, Brunswick, 
and Fernandina, the volume being about 55,000 tons per annum, 
valued at approximately $2,500,000. In addition, the inside route 
is extensively used for rafting timber from the interior down the 
rivers to the coast and thence to the ports; this amounts annually 
to about 60,000,000 feet b. m., valued at $800,000. Also many small 
craft and yachts utilize this route for business and pleasure. 

As in South Carolina, a canal line on the Georgia coast will tie 
together the river systems and should, by giving ready access to the 
ports, largely increase the river commerce. 

The Florida coast. — Here a usable coastal route will be of especial 
value in the development of local traffic, as transportation facilities 
of other kinds are unable to meet the pressing demands. Until the 
last few years the growth of Florida has been very slow; but the 
State is now developing its phosphate, lumber, fruit, and vegetable 
industries at a rapidly increasing rate, and it has been found in the 
past two years that the rail and other means of transportation have 
been unable to cope with the volume of business offered. Valuable 
products have gone to waste because of the impossibility of shipping 

While the railroad facilities can and will be increased, it is doubt- 
ful whether they will be enlarged with rapidity sufficient to aid de- 
velopment. On the other hand, Florida is peculiarly well provided 
with rivers, lakes, and sounds, and since the advent of motor boats, 
furnishing economical transportation, the proper development of the 
waterways of the State will be of unusual value. 


No precise estimate can be given of the prospective business for the 
intracoastal canal, but the following tables are significant : 

Water-borne commerce at different points adjacent to the Florida section of the 

intracoastal waterway. 






Fernandina short tons.. 

Jacksonville do 

379, 864 
54, 000 
297, 001 
218, 692 



Per cent. 



St. Johns River at Orange Mills Flats do 

St. Lucie Inlet do 


Key West do 

Traffic statement of Florida East Coast Railroad for 1909. 


on this 

roads and 



152, 406 
49, 752 

92, 365 
130, 043 
38, 741 

13, 628 
18, 549 
36, 247 
8, 464 

166, 290 
47, 205 

Products of animals 

Products of mines 

Products of forests 



Miscellaneous: Other commodities not mentioned above 

Total tonnage 

480, 203 

99, 656 


The latter table shows existing commerce now largely carried by 
rail, and transportation conditions in Florida appear to be such 
that a large fraction of the above, together with considerable newly 
developed business, should seek the water route to the ports. 

All of the foregoing shows the existence of considerable local-zone 
commerce on these coasts, though but few sections have inland ways 
in any sense adequate, and long stretches are wholly without inland 
communication. A fair criterion of what may be expected when the 
whole coast shall have been developed may be found in the commerce 
of the coast of Georgia, where reasonably good communication can 
now be had. 

The Georgia coast and back country are not materially different 
from the remaining South Atlantic region, but with inland water- 
ways of 7-foot depth the local communities have built up a com- 
merce valued at about $3,500,000 per year. Now, the Georgia coast 
occupies only 100 statute miles of ocean front out of a total of 
925 statute miles herein under consideration. If we can assume 
that the intracoastal canal will develop in other sections a local 
commerce at all comparable with that in existence on the Georgia 
coast, we may fairly say that the local traffic induced should ap- 
proximate $30,000,000 per annum, a value equaling in a single year 
the whole cost of canal construction. This view is believed to be rea- 


sonable and to fairly discount the future ; in fact, it is conservative, as 
it omits consideration of the increased development to be anticipated 
in response to provision not merely for 7-foot local channels, but for 
10-foot channels extending lateral zones to the utmost. 

(b) Through traffic. — The prospect of development of through 
traffic is less certain, though some considerations point to favorable 
expectation. The advocates of this work are able to show that barge 
traffic is inexpensive. Such has certainly the advantage of being car- 
ried on in small rather than large containers, and in this way can 
reach points not otherwise accessible. Similarly, the small container 
lends itself to use by small companies and by individuals of limited 
means, who, while able to receive or send barge loads, may be quite 
unable to charter ships or, indeed, engage transportation on ships. 

Advocates of this improvement also state that the number of sea- 
going carriers now operating on the South Atlantic coast is too 
small. Many instances are brought forward in which freight has 
been offered for shipment only to be refused. 

The advocates also point to the fact that a through route will have 
an uncommonly large number of feeders in the numerous river sys- 
tems of the South Atlantic States, which, in general, flow normal to 
the coast, intersecting the canal at their seaward ends, and thus are 
able to contribute a considerable water-borne commerce. 

Examining the prospect of through traffic from another point of 
view, there is now in evidence a large commerce in commodities such 
as coal, lumber, building materials, sugar, hardware, supplies, and 
truck which passes up and down the coast by either coastwise 
steamers, schooners, or rail. While it can not be expected that for 
strictly through traffic a barge canal can ultimately deflect shipments 
from seagoing steamships, it can be expected that freight now re- 
fused by steamships and shipped at high expense by rail will seek the 
barge canal as an economical outlet. And in view of the small-cargo 
feature, freight now originating in large ports, destined for commu- 
nities not reached by ocean-going steamers, should be more econom- 
ically distributed from a large port than under the present system 
from large port to small port and thence to community. 

A definite conception of the through traffic to be anticipated can be 
gained only by an examination of the commerce of the south Atlantic 

Wilmington, N. G. — Cotton to the value of about $25,000,000 per 
annum is shipped from this port, principally in foreign steamers 
chartered direct. Owing to the difficulty at times experienced in 
chartering steamers it may be that a certain amount of this cotton 
will be barged to the larger northern ports, where ships are always 
to be had. It is certain that cotton will seek the inland route for 
export when handled in less than cargo lots. Lumber and naval 
stores to the value of $1,000,000 per annum are shipped coastwise to 
northern ports. A large part of this might seek the inland water- 
way owing to the lack of freight facilities on ocean routes. Fer- 
tilizers, fertilizer materials, oils, and gasoline to the value of about 
$3,000,000 are imported each year. A part of this may come in over 
the inland way on account of increased facility of distribution. 

Charleston, S. C. — Much coal arrives at Charleston Harbor by 
coastwise vessels, varying from 60,000 tc over 100^000 tons per an- 
il. Doc. 229, 63-1 4 


num. A great part of this comes from Norfolk in schooners, en- 
countering the hazards of Cape Hatteras en route. It would seem 
that this might well be transported over the inland waterway in 
barges. Similarly from 25,000 to 50,000 tons of cement, lime, and 
similar building materials come southward to Charleston by coast- 
wise steamers ; oils, 16,000 tons in amount, come by coastwise barges. 
Any part of either of these items might be carried on the inland' 
way. As for export, Charleston ships at an average 150,000 tons 
of lumber each year, sending it almost exclusively to northern coast- 
wise ports by schooner. Here again the inland route would enable 
these shipments to pass Hatteras in safety. Charleston also exports 
about 50,000 tons of cotton per annum, which, as at Wilmington, 
might seek the ships of northern ports passing through the inland 
way. All other coastwise traffic of Charleston Harbor aggregates 
about 200,000 tons per annum, but it is hardly likely that any part 
of this, unless influenced by the small-package distribution idea, 
would seek the inland way, as it is now carried very economically by 
regular lines of ocean-going steamers. 

Savannah and the smaller Georgia ports. — Here the most prom- 
ising items are 450,000,000 feet of lumber shipped out and about 
140,000 tons of coal brought in by coastwise vessels. This may 
fairly be regarded as possible through traffic for the intracoastal 
canal. There is in addition a southward movement of 65,000 tons of 
fertilizer material, 56,000 tons of grain, 7,000 tons of salt, and 48,000 
tons of cement, of which the canal might get part or all. 

The total ocean-going coastwise trade of the Georgia coast is esti- 
mated at 2,500,000 tons, valued at $150,000,000; it is, however, un- 
likely, except for the items enumerated above, that any very large 
portion of this would be diverted to a barge canal. 

Jacksonville, Fla. — For through traffic, the importation of coal 
amounting to 186,000 tons and the exportation of lumber and cross- 
ties amounting to nearly 800,000 tons offer the greatest possibilities. 
The coal must reach Jacksonville coastwise from Norfolk, Wilming- 
ton, or Charleston, and seems a likely commodity for barge trans- 
portation. Lumber is even now shipped north in barges. The 
Florida lumber companies have found it economical to construct 
special ocean-going barges for this purpose, and handle them in 
fleets by means of powerful towboats, which might with equal econ- 
omy and greater safety operate upon an inland way. Other com- 
modities aggregating somewhat over 1,000,000 tons per annum may 
or may not contribute to the inland traffic. 

On the whole, the board is inclined to believe that there is a'fair 
prospect for the growth of through traffic. Such may not take 
exactly the form of shipment from port to port. It is more likely 
to take the form of distant distribution. Thus, whereas merchan- 
dise originating in New York and destined for distribution on the 
North Carolina coast is now carried to Wilmington in ocean-going 
ships and then distributed by rail or small craft, the existence of the 
canal may give rise to distribution directly from New York by 
barges to points of consumption. Similarly, while commodities des- 
tined for South Carolina are now carried from New York to three 
separate ports — Georgetown, Charleston, and Savannah — by three 
separate services, an almost certain result of construction of a barge 
canal would be inception of distribution from New York through 


Charleston or Savannah alone, or, indeed, distribution direct from 
New York. The economy of such concentration of effort in the 
greater ports, even to the detriment of smaller ports, is obvious. 

It is in this possibility of distant distribution that the board finds 
one of the most valid reasons for undertaking a " through " route. 
The very magnitude of the completed work will be its best guaranty 
Were it to be merely a series of local sections, commerce of any one 
section might be throttled by any of a number of, hostile agencies ; 
but as a " through " route continuity makes impossible the oppres- 
sive tactics often resorted to in overcoming water competition. 
A " through " canal should be able to compete upon favorable terms. 


Whether or not this canal will be of great value to the Navy 
seems to be an open question. 

The canal will be of depth and width insufficient to pass any of 
the larger type of fighting craft or even the usual type of gunboat. 
On the other hand, it can be used by all of the torpedo boats and 
by many of the destroyers. 

Naval officers are understood to have expressed themselves as being 
strongly in favor of the construction of such an inland route, stat- 
ing that it will be invaluable in affording an interior line by which 
small craft can be moved from any harbor to any other without ex- 
posure either to the dangers of ocean navigation or to hostile attack. 
This view has some weight, for while construction of torpedo boats 
has largely been abandoned in favor of construction of destroyers, 
there are still many torpedo boats on hand and serviceable, and if, 
as has at times been contemplated, torpedo boats are to play a useful 
part in the defense of harbors and in opposing raids or blockades it 
may be that the possibility of rapidly and safely concentrating a 
flotilla of such craft will, in emergency, make available a powerful 
weapon. On the other hand, the value of the canal for naval pur- 
poses is one which seems to have been largely overestimated in the 
lay mind. A certain value, as above, can be foreseen ; but as to its 
ultimate function in naval strategy the opinion of the naval au- 
thorities might well be invited. 

It has similarly been urged that this waterway would in war be 
of great value to the Nation for military purposes. 

The board is disinclined to lay too much stress upon this point. 
The canal is not likely to be used for any extensive mo-oement of 
troops on account of the direction in which it lies ; large movements 
are likely to be radial from centers of population rather than lateral 
along the coast, The board, however, can conceive of circumstances 
in which the canal would be of value in the movement of troops 
or munitions of war coastwise in concentrating forces against threat- 
ened points of attack and especially so when the use of the open 
sea was forbidden by the fleet of the enemy and the railroads paral- 
leling the coast were taxed to their utmost capacity. 

Section VIII. Recommendation of Board. 

Comparing the prospective cost with the prospective utilization, 
the board has no hesitation in expressing the opinion that this 
project is worthy of execution by the United States. It is believed 


in the first place to be worthy on the basis of development of local 
zone business alone, and might properly be undertaken were it to be 
expected that no other remunerative form of business could be 
developed. When to the increase in concentration and distribution 
is added the prospect of economical through traffic, and when it is 
recalled that the cost of carrying the work forward from " zone " 
to " through n development will be but a small part of the total, it 
is clear that the "through" canal should be undertaken as a whole. 

Section IX. Order and Rate of Prosecution of the Work. 

In submitting an estimate of cost, the board deems it advisable to 
present a program under which the work can be logically and eco- 
nomically prosecuted. The board bears in mind that the probable 
first development will be that of local-zone traffic, and that this Trill 
be immediately remunerative, while the development of through 
traffic will be more gradual and more remotely remunerative, and 
the board believes that in actual construction the first efforts should 
be directed toward zone extension from the great ports outward. 
Work on the links between the zones should, of course, not be de- 
ferred until the local extension is completed; it should be carried 
on simultaneously, but the program should nevertheless contemplate 
securing the maximum development of the local zones at the earliest 
practicable date, supplemented by completion of the connecting links 
at about the time when zone communication shall have reached a 
state of high efficiency. 

The board also believes that it will be unwise to undertake this 
work in any intermittent way, or under any program which con- 
templates extending it over a long period of years. The board's 
estimates of cost are based upon the presumption that work will be 
authorized in large blocks; that large contracts can be let at ad- 
vantageous prices with resulting economy; and that construction 
can be carried on under a definite program such as will reduce fixed 
and contingent expense and permit continuous utilization of plant 
and force. 

With all this in view the board asserts the practicability of eco- 
nomically completing the canal in six years, and submits the follow- 
ing program of appropriations arranged to accomplish that end in 
the most advantageous manner. 









Beaufort-Cape Fear River. . . 
Cape Fear River -Little 

Little River-Winyah Bay... 
Win yah Bay - Charleston 

$500. 000 





100, 900 










11, 236, 000 


$4, 336, 000 

$700. 000 



2, 645, 000 




Charleston Harbor - Savan- 

Savannah River - Feraan- 

Fernandina-St. Johns River 
St. Johns River -Indian 



Indian River-Biscayne Bay 



Total for each year 

4. <:■■: j 



3, 900, 000 





Section X. Private Canals. 

As explicitly directed in the act, the board has considered the 
desirability of utilizing as a part of this waterway any existing 
public or private canals or any part thereof, and the probable cost 
of acquiring the same. 

While there are several private canals on the South Atlantic coast, 
there is only one which follows the line herein described and which 
can so receive the consideration called for by the act. This is the 
canal owned by the Florida Coast Line Canal & Transportation Co. 
connecting navigable waterways between Jupiter Inlet and Biscayne 
Bay. This canal has a very small cross section, and, while its prism 
can be made use of in the construction of the intracoastal canal, with 
some saving in excavation, the value of that saving will be but a 
small percentage of the total cost of the excavation required for the 
proposed canal. 

The board, through one of its members, has communicated with the 
owners of this canal with a view to ascertaining the " probable cost " 
of acquiring it, but as yet has received no response. It is, therefore, 
impossible for the board to state what the " probable cost " will be. 
It has been possible for the board, however, to arrive at the saving 
in excavation, which can be made by acquiring the canal and utilizing 
it as part of the prism of the larger waterway, and this amounts to 
1,408,722 cubic yards. The value of this excavation to the United 
States, based upon the unit prices herein adopted, would be 

It is not understood that the Florida Coast Line Canal & Trans- 
portation Co. owns or controls a right of way of a width adequate 
for the intracoastal canal. It is understood, however, that for a 
considerable portion of the length of the canal a right of way 200 
feet wide is owned; at some points the width owned is in excess of 
200 feet, while at others, due to difficulties in securing title, no right 
of way, other than an easement for the canal itself, is under the con- 
trol of the company. It is quite impossible for the board to deter- 
mine accurately just what amount of right of way could at a future 
date be delivered by the canal company. It would probably exceed 
1,000 acres, having a value of about $35,000. 

A location of the intracoastal canal parallel to the private canal 
can be made, which will not be more expensive than that along the 
existing canal if payment for acquirement in accordance with the 
above estimate of its value is to be included ; and the board is, there- 
fore, of the opinion that should the demand of the canal company 
exceed $211,308.30, plus a fair value for the right of way which can 
be delivered, the canal should not be acquired and a location parallel 
to it should be adopted. 

Section XI. General Recommendations. 

In recommending the construction of this waterway the board 
also deems it advisable to state that many considerations other than 
those of cost and utility have arisen. Certain of these are deemed 
to be of primary importance and to be worthy of discussion, with 
a view to indicating their bearing upon incident legislation. 



While the estimates are drawn to include cost of acquisition of 
certain rights of way the board is nevertheless of the opinion that 
this charge against the United States may well be saved. It should 
be borne in mind that a waterway of this character confers upon 
local communities great commercial advantages, and that new 
developments and increments in land values will provide new objects 
of taxation, upon which it may reasonably be expected that the 
States will not be slow to levy. But these objects of taxation will 
not be accessible to the United States. It is clear that increments 
of value will be of local rather than national concern ; and, in view of 
this, it is deemed proper that the States should, having their own 
material advantage in mind, make a certain contribution toward the 
execution of the project. This may properly take the form of 
cession, free of charge, of the required rights of way: And to the 
same end it is believed that the States should be called upon to 
protect the United States from all claims for land damages of all 
kinds whatsoever. These conditions should be acceptable to State 
and local governments, and provisos such as will insure the indicated 
cooperation should be drafted into the law. 


Were this a canal designed to pass through or by large commercial 
communities a discussion of terminal facilities and requirements 
might be pertinent, but as it is to be a through waterway to which 
commercial communities are to have access by the river systems it is 
believed that questions of terminal facilities are essentially questions 
to be considered in connection with the river systems — the feeders — 
and that these matters need be the subject of no action in connection 
with the legislation for the intracoastal waterway. 


No appreciable water powers can be developed by this canal. The 
reservoirs created can not be made to serve this purpose, and dams, 
where used, are of small lift, with small possibility of continuous 
or usable overflow. 


The structures herein proposed can not be made to serve in con- 
trol of freshets. Generally speaking, the rivers utilized as sections 
of the waterway are little subject to disastrous floods, and the inter- 
secting rivers, on which flood conditions are detrimental, are in- 
variably crossed at points well down toward their seaward ends, 
so that the canal structures can exert no influence upon freshets. 


In the nature of things this canal work can not be coordinated with 
any scheme for drainage. In the one case a sea-level canal, as herein 
proposed throughout the greater part of the distance, can have no 


great effect upon drainage. In the other case, where the canal 
is designed to cross high levels, success will depend upon conserva- 
tion rather than withdrawal of water. While in many of the South 
Atlantic States the idea persists that a canal of this type will be of 
use in draining the country, it will readily be seen that the two pur- 
poses — navigation and drainage— are incompatible. This waterway 
can not be combined with any drainage scheme — general or local. 

6. In closing its report the board desires especially to make clear 
that its efforts have been directed toward securing a thorough survey 
and reliable estimate of cost for a waterway following the most prac- 
ticable and economical route. At the same time the project as herein 
presented should be regarded as being of a general character; it can 
be accepted as a basis for future work; but it should nevertheless be 
recognized that when work is actually undertaken, changed condi- 
tions will doubtless indicate advisability of minor variations in loca- 
tion or in types of structures; and the board deems it important to 
recommend that legislation be drafted in such way that, while adopt- 
ing the project, it shall still not bind the department or the construct- 
ing officers to rigid adherence to details of plans herein presented. 

Respectfully submitted. 

Dan C. Kingman, 
Colonel, Corps of Engineers. 

Earl I. Brown, 
Captain, Corps of Engineers. 

E. M. Adams, 
Captain, Corps of Engineers. 

Geo. K. Spalding, 
Captain, Corps of Engineers, 
The Chief of Engineees, United States Army. 

For report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors on 
10- foot depth see pp. 11-17. 


[Second indorsement.] 

United States Engineer Office, 

Savannah, Ga., 'April 12, 1912. 

1. Respectfully returned to the Chief of Engineers, United States 
Army, with an estimate of the cost of constructing this inside water 
route with an actual depth of 7 feet, affording a navigable depth of 
6 feet — this with a view to its subsequent enlargement to 10 feet 
when occasion requires. All locks, dams, and permanent structures 
are provided for in the estimate as for a 10-foot canal. 

2. The location of the 6-foot canal is identical with that proposed 
for the 10-foot canal. The cost of the canal, with reduced depth, in 
round numbers, is $19,000,000, or $12,000,000 less than for the canal 
with a 10-foot depth. 

3. There is inclosed a sheet giving a summary of the estimates for 
the 7-foot canal, arranged exactly as in the case of the 10- foot canal 
shown on page 44 of the report. 

Dan C. Kingman, 
Colonel, Corps of Engineers. 


United States Engineer Office, 

Savannah Ga., April 12, 1912. 

Estimate for 6-foot draft navigation (7-foot depth of channel) following the 
same route as that adopted for 10-foot depth bp the Board of Engineer 

1. Beaufort to Cape Fear River $2. 872. 111. 00 

2. Cape Fear River to Little River 3,724,219.00 

3. Little River to Winyah Bay 5, 677, 800. 00 

4. Winyah Bay to Charleston 1, 227, 800. 00 

5. Charleston to Savannah 427, 400. 00 

6. Savannah to Fernandina 195.000.00 

7. Fernandina to St. Johns River 251, 726. 75 

8. St. Johns River to Indian River 2, 491, 056. 03 

9. Indian River to Key West 2, 127, 950. 68 

Total 18,995.063.46 

Or in round numbers 19,000.000.00 

Estimate for 6-foot draft navigation (7-foot depth of channel) for continuous 
waterway, inland where practicable, from Fernandina, Fla., to Key West, 

1. Fernandina-St. Johns River : 

Hydraulic dredging, 2,288,425 cubic yards $228, 842. 50 

Contingencies 22, 884. 25 

Total 251, 726. 75 

2. St. Johns River-Indian River: 
(a) St. Johns River section — 

Hydraulic dredging, 3.213,506 cubic yards 551, 269. 40 

Right of way, 411 acres 4, 110. 00 

Beacons 15, 000. 00 

Contingencies 57, 037. 94 

Total 627, 417. 34 

(b) Lakes Ruth, Shad, and Salt Lake sections — 

Hydraulic dredging, 864,689 cubic yards 86,468.90 

Right of way, 182 acres 1, 820. 00 

Right of way, 345 acres 5, 175. 00 

Contingencies 9, 346. 39 

Total 102, 810. 29 

(c) Salt Lake-Indian River section — 

Steam-shovel excavation, 3,275,930 cubic yards 982, 779. 00 

Lock 450, 000. 00 

Right of way, 381 acres 27, 065. 00 

2 bridges 150,000.00 

Contingencies 150, 984. 40 

Total 1, 760, 828. 40 

8. Indian River : 

(a) Indian River-Jupiter Inlet — 

Hydraulic dredging, 2,762,466 cubic yards 399,383.45 

Rock, 12,540 cubic yards 9,405.00 

Right of way, 15 acres 750. 00 

Right of way, 282 acres _2, 820. 00 

Beacons 20, 000. 00 

Contingencies 43. 238. 85 

Total 475, 597. 30 


Indian River — Continued. 

(&) Jupiter Inlet-Lake Worth section — 

Hydraulic dredging, 1,903,475 cubic yards $203, 839. 75 

Right of way, 417 acres 4, 170. 00 

Right of way, 10 acres 10, 000. 00 

Value Florida East Coast Canal excavation, 389,825 cubic 

yards 58, 473. 75 

Beacons 5, 000. 00 

Contingencies 28, 148. 35 

Total 309, G31.S5 

(c) Lake Worth-Biscayne Bay section — 

Hydraulic dredging, 8,079,108 cubic yards 846, 284. 80 

Rock, 32,970 cubic yards 24, 727. 50 

Right of way, 5,030 acres 150, 900. 00 

Contingencies 117, 974. 68 

Value Florida East Coast Canal excavation, 1,018,897 

cubic yards 152,834.55 

Contingencies 117,974. 68 

Total 1,297,721.53 

(d) Approximate estimate of value of right of way owned by 

Florida East Coast Canal Co 35,000,00 

(c) Biscayne Bay-Hawk Channel section, beacons 10,000.00 

4. Hawk Channel-Key West. — No work required. 

Summary of the estimates. 

1. Fernandina-St. Johns River $251, 726. 75 

2. St. Johns River-Indian River . 2,491,056.03 

3. Indian River-Hawk Channel 2, 127, 950. 68 

Grand total 4, 870, 733. 46 

Order and rate of prosecution of the work. 









Fernandina-St. Johns 

$114, 000. 00 
598, 000. 00 


$251, 726. 75 

St. Johns River-In- 
dian River 

$598, 000. 00 


Indian River-Bis- 

Hawk Channel-Key 

$532,000. 00 


Total for each 

712, 000. 00 

835,726. 25 

1,130,000. 00 

1, 129,056. 03 

532, 000. 00 

531,950. 68 


For report of the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, see 
pp. 17-18. 


Wilmington, N. C, December 2, 1912. 
Dear Sir : Referring to our conversation this morning relative to the intra- 
coastal canal, the following points, in brief, seem to me to justify the reach 
from Beaufort, N. C, to Cape Fear River : 


The distance from Beaufort Harbor by sea into Southport Harbor is* 120 
miles. This necessarily means that slow-moving craft, like barges or large 
light-draft freighters, run much risk at sea between these points, owing to the 
fact that it means from 15 to 24 hours at sea without reasonable chance of 
dodging in from sudden bad weather. There are no harbors between these 
points except for very small and very light-draft vessels. There are only such 


small inlets like Moo res or Masonboro and Topsail, which would afford little, 
if any, aid to a vessel of any size or drawing more than 5 to 6 feet. A vessel 
caught between these points in a sudden northeaster or southeaster or even a 
strong easterly wind is in jeopardy unless she is quite seaworthy and under 
considerable power. 

The reaches to the south of us are probably in better shape in this regard, for 
we have by sea — 


From Southport to Little River, S. C 40 

From Little River to Georgetown, S. C 65 

From Georgetown to Charleston 45 

This means that craft taking the sea route and moving only 5 miles per hour 
could make from one safe point to another during daylight for most of the 
year and would not often risk having to spend the night at sea. 


Unquestionably the only safeguard from excessive transportation charges 
is the barge and other vessels of moderate cost and cheap operation. As an 
evidence of this, right at hand, the rail freight rate from Newbern, N. C, to New 
York is 20 cents per 100 pounds ; Wilmington, N. C, to New York is 21 cents per 
100 pounds. 

This is in carload lots and means that Newborn can reach New York by rail 
for 25 cents per 1,000 feet b. m. less than Wilmington, notwithstanding the 
fact that the Atlantic Coast Line handles this business from Newbern through 
Wilmington and hauls it 87 miles farther from Newbern than from Wilmington. 


Distance (Atlantic Coast Line) Newbern to Norfolk 325 

Distance (Atlantic Coast Line) Wilmington to Norfolk 238 

Distance (Atlantic Coast Line) Wilmington to Newbern 87 

It is probable that most of the lumber moving from Newbern to eastern 
cities goes via the Norfolk Southern Railroad, but the Atlantic Coast Line 
nevertheless bids actively for this business and gets as much of it as it can. 
The rate from Newbern was formerly one-half cent only lower than Wilmington, 
but in about 1907, when the inland waterway seemed assured, this rate was 
lowered another half cent. And it is probable that it would be even lower than 
this but for the fact that the Norfolk Southern Railroad practically owns or 
dominates the chief lumbering interest and timber-holding company at Newbern. 


As you are aware, only large seagoing barges are possible for the Wilming- 
ton service and the water rate from Wilmington to Baltimore and New York 
via barges or schooners is about $5 to $5.50 per 1,000 feet on lumber. Newbern 
is at present putting lumber on barges of moderate size and cost for the canal 
service at about $2.50 per 1,000 feet freight for Baltimore and around $4.50 to 
New York. 



It is a positive fact, no longer denied I believe, that railroad rates are in no 
sense arrived at by the cost of transportation. They are made by traffic man- 
agers as high as the traffic will bear, and are regulated, not by arbitrary power 
of commerce commissions or other bodies, but solely by water competition in 
most cases. Water competition, in its most effective sense, means competition 
by small individuals with small units possessing the possibility of large compe- 
tition in the aggregate. Steamship lines are no longer to be considered as con- 
stituting " water competition," for they are owned body and soul by the railroad 



There is no doubt in my mind that the canal from Beaufort to Wilmington 
would immediately bear large quantities of lumber, anthracite coal, fertilizer 
materials, and general merchandise, the latter especially, from and to the Balti- 
more market. And I believe also that bituminous coal and grain in large 
quantities would use the canal immediately and continue to do so until the 
railroads found that this competition made absolutely necessary an actual as 
well as a physical connection with the coal mines of southwest Virginia and the 
grain fields of the Central West. Bituminous coal and grain probably would 
cease to move via the canal in a comparatively short time, but even if this be so 
the canal is there as a practical route for this traffic whenever it is necessary 
or convenient to use it. 

I believe this covers the views expressed, to you this morning, and I trust 
same may be of service. 
Yours, truly, 

. R. A. Parsley. 

Mr. Hugh MacIIae, City. 


Wilmington, N. C, December 8, 1912. 
Dear Sir : In compliance with your request to submit some reasons in support 
of the report of the special board of engineers favorable to the extension of the 
intracoastal waterway south of Beaufort, N. C, I give herewith what seems 
to me the controlling reasons for this waterway. Necessarily I can but indi- 
cate without elaborating the argument, and for convenience will divide the 
points by numerals. 


First. The intracoastal waterway is essentially a commercial proposition, 
resting on the twofold ground of interchange of commodities between the States 
and encouragement to local production. The military feature is necessarily 
subordinate and incidental, made so by the limitations of the project itself. 

Waterway transportation is not only the recognized cheapest means of com- 
munication, but in addition to the fact per se has an inevitable effect on rail 
transportation, and this is recognized by all the commercial nations of the 
world. One of the most serious problems to-day confronting our Government 
in the matter of waterway developments is the ways and means for making 
most effective these improvements, and any project which will have this effect 
would be justified by results. 

Second. It is true, as the general board of engineers concede, that the intra- 
coastal waterway would operate favorably upon the south Atlantic ports, but 
the implication that this result would be of itself of minor importance and that 
the benefits would be confined virtually to the ports themselves is, we submit, 
an erroneous view of the matter. That the ports should benefit by local pro- 
duction is only to say that territories now unoccupied and undeveloped would 
come to a market through the medium of the canal, so that the incidental 
benefits to the ports would be but a sequence to the larger benefits accruing to 
local development; and as respects the effect on the ports through interchange 
of commerce by the States, this is the real crux of the matter when we consider 
that the problem reaches beyond the Atlantic seaboard States, which as a 
matter of fact would be a very small portion of the benefits to the country at 

Third. The value of a means of transportation is its ability to attract com- 
merce, hence the question of rate is controlling. This brings us to the question, 
What would be the effect on the south Atlantic ports of the construction of the 
intracoastal waterway? If this query can not be answered in favor of the canal, 
the project is admittedly of small value. Happily, the effect of the canal on 
transportation rates to the south Atlantic ports would be so far-reaching in its 
benefits as to remove all doubt as to the value of the canal as an economy of 

The Erie Canal is the key to all of the north Atlantic rates, both export and 
inland. This is recognized by everyone at all familiar with the rate adjust- 
ments of the north Atlantic ports, and the extension of an inland waterway 
south would be in effect a continuation of the Erie Canal, and what this facility 


lias brought to the north Atlantic ports would accrue to the south Atlantic 
ports under like conditions. We are not unmindful of the fact that the ports 
south of New York in the north Atlantic group enjoy lower rates than New 
York itself, but this fact does not militate against the soundness of the conten- 
tion that the Erie Canal is the key to the situation and made possible the origi- 
nal New York rate, and the present adjustment of rates between New York and 
its southern rivals in the north Atlantic group is due to causes wholly remote 
from the influence of the Erie Canal and are of comparatively recent date. 

Fourth. Under the present system of water rates from the northern to the 
southern ports the blanket system prevails, as is demonstrated by the fact 
that the rate from New York to Wilmington, N. C, by water is substantially 
the same as from New York to Jacksonville, Fla., and intermediate points from 
Wilmington to Jacksonville. Moreover, and speaking specifically in reference to 
Wilmington, the rail lines refuse to pro rate with water lines through these 
ports on any equitable division of revenue, exacting from water lines for the 
nearest rail point the full revenue accruing to the rail line as would obtain 
under all-rail shipments from same point of origin. The effect of this is to 
limit the benefits of water transportation to the ports themselves, and at the 
same time to hamper and retard the commercial development of the ports. 

Fifth. With the construction of the intracoastal waterway and the extension 
of the canal rate to southern ports, the effect would be to put the southern ports 
on a virtual parity with the northern ports in the all-important overland traffic 
from the West and in inland rates through the ports, and with this an accom- 
plished fact the arbitrary discrimination which now divides the Atlantic ports 
into a northern and a southern group would forever disappear. This is the 
arbitrary work of the railroads and can only be undone by water competition. 

The Panama Canal is a national undertaking and is justified on no other 
ground than of a nation-wide be: "fit. Under the present adjustment of rates 
between the North Atlantic and South Atlantic ports the latter would share in 
no benefits of the Panama Canal, because commerce moves on economic lines 
and not on sentiment. The present discrimination against the South Atlantic 
ports in favor of the northern ports could have no other effect than to confine 
and limit the great benefits of the Panama Canal to the North Atlantic 
and Gulf ports, and to avert such an injustice to South Atlantic ports and the 
interior territory which would base on these ports by reason of geographical 
proximity, the Government is under every consideration of fairness bound to 
adopt and put through any measures of relief. The intracoastal canal would 
solve the problem, and while this canal could not be completed as early as the 
Panama Canal, the fact that the project had been approved and entered upon 
by the Government would in all probability cause the railroads serving these 
southern ports to anticipate the effect of the completion of the canal by gradual 
reduction in rates. 

The question is of momentous consequence to the South Atlantic ports, and 
the project would meet the demand of Congress that waterways shall produce 
their greatest economic efficiency, which condition can not be realized as long 
as the railroads control or hinder the actual and potential economies of water 
transportation, which is notoriously the situation in the South Atlantic States 

In conclusion it may be said that the effect of the canal from Beaufort to 
the Cape Fear River would be to relieve shipping from the dangers of Frying 
Pan Shoals. This may appear on the first thought to be purely a matter of 
local concern, but as a matter of fact it is quite the contrary. Unless the dan- 
gers of the coast be protected by an inland waterway between the points named 
there would be no possibility of a canal south of the Cape Fear River which 
could procure a continuous and practicable watercourse to the north. 
Yours, truly, 

J. A. Taylor. 

Mr. H. B. Branch, 

Secretary Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington, N. C. 

letter of mr. edgar d. williams. 

December 14, 1912. 
My Dear Sir: I beg to call your attention to the great distance of Frying 
Pan Shoals to Cape Fear Bar, where the lightship is moored, to the end of Fry- 
ing Pan Shoals — 22 miles from the bar to the lightship; 85 miles from Frying 
Pan Lightship to Cape Lookout 


During ray experience of 47 years in the towboat business on the coast and 
Cape Fear River I have known vessels bound north to lay in harbor at South- 
port for 12 to 15 days waiting for favorable wind to proceed on their voyage. 
This was on account of the prevailing wind in the winter time, which is from 
the north to northeast, and it is only the large class of vessels, say, from 600 
to 1,000 tons, that will venture out and make any headway along the coast 
bound north. 

We have no inlets from Beaufort to the Cape Fear Bar of any note and with 
any depth of water ; vessels can scarcely make harbor. With the New Inlet 
near Fort Fisher we did an immense trade with eastern counties, vessels of a 
small class bringing corn to this port. 

Of course, this inlet being north of the Frying Pan Shoals, vessels with a 
northerly wind can track the land up as far as Beaufort ; as it is now this class 
of vessels would not take the risk, as it would be too hazardous on account of 
Frying Pan Shoals. 

We beg to call your attention again to the great advantage this port would 
have by the increase in commerce by having this inland waterway to come by 
or near Wilmington, as I am sure that it would increase our trade and com- 
merce considerably. 

There have been numerous vessels of different classes lost on the coast from 
Cape Lookout to Frying Pan Shoals and on the Frying Pan Shoals of late years, 
with their cargoes and no tidings of their crews. 

You will please note the charts from Cape Hatteras to Cape Romain, S. C. T 
Frying Pan Shoals extending a greater distance than either Hatteras or Cape 

The distance from Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to lightship being 14 miles, 
Cape Lookout, or Hatteras, to Lookout Lightship is 13^ miles ; from Cape Light- 
house or Cape Fear Bar to Frying Pan Lightship, on the end of the shoal, is 
22 miles, and more dangerous, in my experience, than either Cape Lookout or 
Cape Hatteras. 

Yours, very respectfully, Edgar D. Williams, 

Master and Pilot. 

Mr. M. W. Divine, 

President Inland Waterways Association, City. 


Wilmington, N. C, December Iff, 1912. 

Mr. Hugh MacRae, City: 

Without any extended explanation, etc., I am desirous of laying before your 
committees information for presentation in behalf of the continuation of the 
inland waterways to our city. 

Sailing vessels loaded with cement have been chartered on the basis of 20 
cents per barrel. Due to the hazardous risk and the loss of three or four cargoes 
of cement the past year, the rate of freight has increased to 32 to 35 cents, 
and charters are difficult to make at that. A year ago cement sold at $1 per 
barrel net ; to-day it is $1.30 per barrel net, and hard to get at that. 

Using barges through the inland waterways, I should think, would materially 
reduce the risk of cargo and vessel as well as life, and, of course, naturally re- 
ducing the cost of cement to the consumer. The same principle would apply to 
many other commodities. 

With best wishes for your committee's success, I am, 

Yours, very truly, Wm. L. de Rosset. 




Inward and outward tonnage and valuation of commerce by water at the port of 
Savannah, Ga., calendar year 1911. 



Short tons. 


Short tons. 






229, 410 


275, 285 

71, 260, 2SQ 



777, 118 


Inward and outward tonnage, inland waterways, 139,500 tons, valued at 

Short tons. 


Tonnage and valuation of commerce inward and outward, 1911 



Greatest draft arrived, 1911, 26 feet 3 inches. Greatest draft cleared, 1911, 
27 feet 7 inches. Amount of duties collected, 1911, $81,777.78. 

Thomas Purse, Secretary. 

Savannah Board of Trade, 

December 2, 1912. 

savannah, ga. 

As indicative of the rapid growth of the shipping business of this port, in 
consequence of gradually increasing depth of channel, the following figures 
are given to show the relative position of principal export ports of the Atlantic 
coast, with gain and loss of commerce, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1912, 
as compared with 1909, a period of four years: 






104, 288, 887 
92, 034, 875 
68, 875,300 

50, 900, itf6 
77,550, 658 
76, 157,558 

14, 484, 217 
6,490, 064 

Per cent. 


Boston and Charlestown, Mass 

1 Decrease. 

Savannah's exports for the year 1910 were $63,428,155 ; for 1911, $72,076,045. 

The 1912 record places Savannah in fourth place in all the United States, 
the order being New York, New Orleans, Galveston, Savannah. 

Savannah's imports also show steady growth, Government figures for fiscal 
year ended June 30 being as follows: 1909, $2,152,441; 1910. $3,855,373; 1911, 
$5,296,746; 1912, $5,130,979. 

The arrival book in the United States customs office at Savannah show 
total arrivals in port, all classes, foreign and coastwise, year ending August 31, 
1912, 1,354, an average of 113 vessels each month, 


Similar records show vessels, coastwise, cleared through customs at Savannah, 
year ending August 31, 1912, as follows: 








The harbor master's report for calendar year 1911 
riving Savannah as follows : 


total vessels ar- 









112, 184 

720, 742 









2,746, 756 

Right here should be considered statement furnished by Mr. Thomas Purse, 
secretary of the Savannah Board of Trade, covering " inward and outward 
tonnage and valuation of commerce by water at the port of Savannah for cal- 
endar year 1911." 

Cotton receipts at Savannah for the year 1911-12 were uplands, 2,329.076 
bales; sea islands, 63,105 bales. 

The growth and prestige of Savannah has been largely the result of her port 
and shipping business, therefore facts indicative of this growth are of interest. 

Census 1910 showed 65,064 population, not embracing a manufacturing settle- 
ment since taken into the city and other contiguous suburbs which at this 
time give a total estimated population of 100,000. 

She has 7.11 square miles territory in city limits. Street mileage 150 miles. 
Paved streets December 31, 1911, 50.57 miles. House drainage, 51 miles. Storm 
drainage, 28 miles. Trolley mileage, city and suburban, 58.15 miles. 

City taxable values 1911, $51,171,691. New improvements 1911, taxable valu- 
ation, $866,400. 

Six railroads with total mileage 16,482 miles. Terminals include about 3,000 

acres of land and trackage 150 miles. 

Coastwise steamship lines with regular schedules, passenger and freight : 
Ocean Steamship Co., 3 ships each way weekly, between Savannah and New 

York ; 2 ships each way weekly between Savannah and Boston ; total tonnage, 

35,815 tons. 

Merchant & Miners' Transportation Co., 3 ships each way weekly between 
Savannah-Jacksonville and Baltimore; 3 ships each way weekly between 
Savannah and Philadelphia. 

Also numerous small steamboats plying near-by waterways. 

Post-office receipts, year ending June 30 — 

1909 $218,543 

1910 232 254 

1911 248.979 

1912 263, 9S2 

Banking institutions, figures of July 12, 1912; Number 18; paid in capital 
surplus and undivided profits, $9,154,124 ; deposits, $24,421,987. 

Bank clearings : 

1909 $240,227,835 

1910 271, 994, 461 

1911 291,172,893 

Savannah has never had a bank failure. 



Sir: In advocating the building of the intercoastal canal it is difficult to 
assemble and to present what are often termed " fixed facts." The engineering 
data is of course accurate, and the estimate of approximate cost can be relied 
on : but when we speak of the value of the canal and its importance to present 
and future generations we can not, in reaching a wise conclusion, be dogmatic ; 
because we are dealing with things not proven. We must make use of prophetic 
vision as well as sound judgment. 

If the project under consideration is to be a factor in great growth and de- 
velopment, then we must necessarily be optimistic as to the possibilities of that 
growth and development. 

It may be considered that any great work to be undertaken requires optimism 
to the extent of having faith in the future. Pessimism is fatal to great 

What I have to say therefore in regard to this canal project is from the 
standpoint of believing absolutely in its importance as a national work, and in 
the benefits that will follow in the development of commerce, industry, and agri- 
culture ; in the increase of wealth and the advancement of civilization ; not only 
in the immediate territory which the canal will serve, but also in a very much 
larger area which will receive sympathetic stimulation. 

This intercoastal canal will be of direct service to a group of States which 
are far from being developed to their maximum possibilities, but which have re- 
markable potential wealth. 

It seems that there are three great beneficial influences that would be ex- 
erted by this intercoastal canal : First, its effect in stimulating ocean commerce : 
second, the development of the coastal section which it traverses ; and, third, 
its influence on the reduction of freight rates on heavy commodities. These 
three distinct lines will prove to be reciprocal and each will greatly contribute 
to the growth of the others. 

As to the benefit to ocean commerce it is evident that the class of freight 
conveyers which can handle the heavy commodities at the lowest rates are 
not available now to any extent for business along the South Atlantic coast. 
The dangers in rounding Cape Hatteras and the Frying Pan Shoals and the long 
reaches which it is necessary to make from one port of safety to another are 
prohibitive. The use of small craft and of barges would be safe under con- 
ditions which permitted of fair-weather travel for distances of 40 to 50 miles 
from one harbor of refuge to another; but it would be quite unsafe for this 
same class of craft to attempt voyages which required remaining at sea for 
distances of from 100 to 300 miles. It might be said that the dangers from 
storms increase as the squares of the distances to be traveled under conditions 
of exposure. 

In illustration of this, a case was mentioned to me within the last few days 
by a man who ships large quantities of cement from northern ports to Wil- 
mington. He stated that three ships carrying cement had been lost off Hat- 
teras, and the freight rate was immediately raised from 20 to 30 cents per 
barrel, or an increase of 50 per cent. Now, cement is a commodity which moves 
in large volume and can easily be handled in barges. If these barges, upon the 
approach of bad weather, could seek the protection of an inland waterway and 
the dangers of storms be eliminated the freight rates would be much lower. 

Another illustration of the importance of safety to small craft is seen in the 
fact that 35 years ago Wilmington had a very large business with the eastern 
coast of North Carolina, and all of the freight was carried in small sloops, 
known as " corn crackers." These " corn crackers " usually brought in cargoes 
of corn or other country produce, and carried back merchandise and fertilizers, 
these small vessels could go in and out of several inlets along the coast, and 
in case of storms were not necessarily exposed to danger. They came through 
New Inlet, of Cape Fear River, which at that time was open. When New Inlet 
was closed, in order to deepen the harbor, that trade at once became extinct, 
due largely, if not entirely, to the fact that the small craft in which that coast- 
ing business was necessarily done could not afford to take the danger of ex- 
posure in going the long route around Frying Pan Shoals. On the other hand, 
Wilmington has maintained a very profitable business in the direction of Little 
River, where these small craft can go with perfect safety. This traffic with 
small craft would spring up again if the facilities were provided by an inland 
canal. An example of this can be seen in the traffic of this kind which comes 


to Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Baltimore, near which cities there are large bodies 
of inland water which can be safely navigated by small craft. 

As to the adjacent coastal country, we believe that the canal would have a 
most important influence. This coastal country for a distance inland of 50 to 
70 miles is very rich agriculturally, but much of it is wholly undeveloped ; and 
if this cheap means of transportation was provided for the crops, it would re- 
sult in thousands of farmers settling on these fertile lands of the coastal plain 
and the development of the wealth of that region. This in turn would stimulate 
the growth of towns and manufacturing centers and thereby increase the traffic 
on the canal, on the ocean, and also on the railroads. 

For several years I have been making a study of the agricultural possibilities 
of lands typical of the coastal plain between Norfolk and Jacksonville, and 
have formed the opinion that no part of the United States presents a better 
field for development than that section. It has a combination of the three 
fundamental things — excellent soil types, temperate climate, and abundance of 
rainfall — surpassing in this combination any other part of the country. All 
J hat is needed is a stimulant in the way of good transportation facilities. 

As to the effect on the railroads, it is a recognized fact that the rail rates 
are governed by competing water rates. It is far more effective and probably 
better where possible to influence rail rates favorably by some natural competi- 
tion than by arbitrary legislation. 

The capital invested in the main railroad systems serving the Southern 
States and touching at the southern ports must approximate six or seven 
hundred million dollars. If an investment of $31,000,000 in an intracoastal 
canal will build up water transportation so as to have a decided influence on 
the rates charged by the great railroad systems, certainly the amount of money 
invested in the canal would seem to be small as measured by the results ob- 
tained; but I believe that this result could be accomplished with even less ex- 
penditure, and that an investment of $6,000,000 would bring about many of the 
advantages desired and would prove beyond question the importance of the 
greater project and would justify the investment of the additional $25,000,000. 

If the present canal is extended from Beaufort into the Cape Fear River at 
Wilmington, at a cost of $4,300,000, and the canal completed between Charleston 
and Jacksonville at the very moderate cost of $1,700,000, as estimated in the 
Engineers' Report, it will connect up the point of greatest traffic in Florida — 
Jacksonville — with Fernandina, Brunswick, Savannah, and Charleston (all 
great shipping points), and would connect Fayetteville, Wilmington, Newbern, 
Norfolk, Richmond, Baltimore, and Washington, leaving only a short stretch of 
comparatively safe coast between Charleston and Wilmington without the 
canal. On this very short stretch there are two harbors of safety — George- 
town, 45 miles distant from Charleston, and Little River, 60 miles distant from 
Georgetown and 40 miles distant from Southport. This zone of danger would 
be insignificant, as compared with the exposures now necessary. The amount 
of canal completed at present is not sufficient to induce the building up of com- 
merce in small craft. Therefore freight is carried from the northern ports out- 
side to the southern ports in ships which are large enough to navigate with 
comparative safety. Even then we must consider that every ton of freight 
moved in the South, either by rail or water, pays its tribute to the dangers of 
Cape Hatteras and Frying Pan Shoals. This is too much. 

The farmer who is unwilling to plow the ground certainly can not look for- 
ward to planting a crop ; and we are all accustomed to the idea that a " man 
who does not sow can not reap." Similarly, if there are great possibilities of 
development along the southern coast, and we do not take the steps to stimulate 
these, there will be no successful reaping. We must remain in truth a 
" frontier." 

To illustrate that vast developments sometimes grow from improvements to 
navigation we can point to what has occurred near London and on the River 
Clyde. A Scotch lady (Mrs. Alexander Sprunt, the mother of our esteemed 
townsman, Mr. James Sprunt) once told me that when she was a girl only 
fishing smacks about the size of our "corn-crackers" could get up as far as 
London and only the same class of vessels could enter the Clyde above Glas- 
gow. To-day the greatest steamships of the world are built on the upper 
Clyde. Clipping dated London, November 30, inclosed. 1 

l Not printed, 

H. Doc. 229, 63-1 5 


The Aquitania and her launching above the city of Glasgow could not have 
been dreamed of at the time that fishing smacks were the largest craft on that 
river; and while one would now hesitate to make comparisons of what the 
results would be along the southern coast if given an impetus by the building 
of this canal, it would not be unreasonable to expect, along certain lines, some 
very great development. 

It is often said that the Erie Canal made New York. In this brief statement 
no one supposes that all of the business of New York came from the Erie Canal. 
The canal simply gave New York the impetus and acted as a stimulant to cer- 
tain lines of business, which reacted favorably on other conditions, bringing 
about an enormous concentration of business at that point. Now all classes 
of business are so great in New York that the Erie Canal can almost be over- 
looked except for its probable continued beneficial influence on freight rates. 
The Erie Canal, far from hurting the railroads, has greatly helped them by 
aiding in the increase of all classes of business. The same thing would un- 
doubtedly occur in the South and the railways would gain far more than they 
would lose. 

To-day the barge service between Wilmington and New York is only possible 
in large seagoing barges, and the freight rate is about $5 to $5.50 per thousand 
feet of lumber. Newbern is at the present time putting lumber on barges of 
moderate size and cost suitable for the canal service and delivering it in Balti- 
more at about $2.50 per thousand feet. 

The canal if extended from Beaufort to Wilmington would, in the opinion 
of those who are engaged in business which would be affected and who have 
given this matter study, bear large quantities of lumber, grain, anthracite coal, 
cement, fertilizing materials, and general merchandise, the latter especially 
from the Baltimore market. At the present time, while Baltimore should be 
one of the best markets for the coast of North Carolina south of Beaufort, and 
while a business could be built up which would in a measure govern the rates 
on business done with other large commercial centers both east and west, there 
is practically no business done with Baltimore by water. If heavy commodities 
were moved from Baltimore through the canal to Wilmington and other points 
south, it would bring about competition from the coal fields of southwestern 
Virginia and the grain fields of the Central States direct to all of the southern 
ports, and the canal rate, combined with the rate to Baltimore from the West, 
would naturally be the basis of rates made by the other routes. 

It has been pointed out that after the intracoastal canal is completed the 
barges used on the Erie Canal and other canals in the North, which are frozen 
in winter, will be available during the winter months for traffic in the southern 

During prosperous times the railroads are congested with heavy freight which 
is relatively unprofitable, and this canal route would tend to relieve this con- 
gestion and in reality would help the railroads by developing the classes of 
business which could afford to pay higher rates. 

A great factor in the development of some sections is the influence of tourists 
and those who travel for pleasure. California, Florida, and western North 
Carolina have been particularly benefited by this tourist travel. The influence 
of pleasure travel can also be plainly seen along certain portions of Chesapeake 
Bay and in southern Maryland. The building of this canal would turn a steady 
stream of travel up and down the southern coast and would cause the rapid 
development of the opportunities which are there presented to the investor. 

It was impossible for any man to forecast accurately the effect of the Suez 
Canal. It is now impossible to estimate in advance the full outcome from the 
traffic of the Panama Canal. Both of these great works were probably initiated 
by dreamers, but no one can now question their importance to the commerce of 
the world. 

If the inland waterway builds up local or zone traffic, it will induce through 
traffic in large volume. If Baltimore, Richmond, and Norfolk, which are now 
in great measure cut off from the South, are given easy and safe access to the 
cities of Jacksonville, Savannah, and Wilmington by water, the stimulation to 
commerce will be tremendous. These trade centers will be developed and will 
in turn be contributors of through freight. 

Fortunately the section of this canal which would cost the least would pro- 
duce the greatest and most immediate growth of commerce, would give the 
facilities needed to the most important ports, and would eliminate the greatest 
dangers to small shipping. It would prove at this time a great factor in taking 
care of the new life to be stirred by the completion of the Panama Canal. 


This canal would be supplemental to and make more effective many of the 
large projects which have been completed or to which the Government is com- 
mitted. It connects at will with 400 miles of navigable water. 

It seems that an initial investment of $6,000,000 and the probable future 
investment of $25,000,000 is a conservative expenditure in order to insure the 
miracle of development which would surely follow as the result of this under- 
taking. We feel that these States and their ports are entitled to this considera- 
tion in the great general scheme of public improvements which are undertaken 
throughout the country for the public benefit. 

Gen. Wm. H. Bixby, 

Chief of Engineers, United States Army. 


Adopted routes, detailed description of: Pago. 

Beaufort-Cape Fear River 24-26 

Cape Fear River-Little River 26-27 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 31 

Fernandina-St. Johns River 33 

Indian River-Key West 35-36 

Little River-Winyah Bay 27-29 

St. Johns River-Indian River 33-35 

Savannah River-Fernandina 31-32 

Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor 29-30 

Alternative routes: 

Beaufort-Cape Fear 20-21 

Biscayne Bay-Key West 24 

Cape Fear-Winyah Bay 21-22 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 23 

Indian River-Biscayne Bay 24 

St. Johns River-Indian River 23-24 

Savannah River-St. Johns River 23 

Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor 22-23 

Appropriations, as recommended 52 

Barges, types 37 

Basins, turning, proposed 38 


Proposed 39 

Unit cost , 40 

Bear Bluff, S. C, locks at 29 

Beaufort-Cape Fear River section: 

Alternative routes 20-21 

Detailed description of adopted route 24-26 

Estimate of cost 40-41 

General description of coast 19 

Beaufort, N. C, commerce of 46 

Biscayne Bay, Fla., commerce of 48 

Biscayne Bay-Key West section: 

Alternative routes 24 

Detailed description of adopted route 36 

Estimate of cost 44 

General description of coast 20 

Board of engineer officers (special): 

Order convening 18 

Report on 10-foot depth 18-55 

Report on 7-foot depth 55-57 

Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, report of: 

On 10-foot depth 11-17 

On 7-foot depth 17-18 

Boats, types 37 


Proposed types 39 

Unit cost 40 

Brunswick, Ga., commerce of 47 

Calabash River, N. C, dam at 27 

Canals, private 53 

Cape Fear River, dikes in 26 


70 INDEX, 

Cape Fear River-Little River section: Page. 

Detailed description of adopted route 26-27 

Estimate of cost 41 

Cape Fear River- Winyah Bay: 

Alternative routes. .„ 21-22 

General description of coast : . . . 19 

(See also Cape Fear River-Little River and Little River-Winyah Bay). 

Carolina Beach Crossing, N. C 26 

Carolina, North: 

Description of coast 19 

Local commerce 45-46 

Through commerce 49 

Carolina, South: 

Description of coast 19 

Local commerce 46-47 

Through commerce 49-50 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River section: 

Alternative routes 23 

Detailed description of adopted route 31 

Estimate of cost 42 

General description of coast 19 

Charleston, S. C: 

Local commerce 46-47 

^ Through commerce 49-50 

Chief of Engineers, United States Army, letter of 9-11 

Coast, South Atlantic, general description: 

Beaufort-Cape Fear 19 

Biscayne Bay-Key West 20 

Cape Fear-Winyah Bay 19 

Jupiter Inlet-Biscayne Bay 20 

St. Johns River-Jupiter Inlet 19-20 

Winyah Bay-St. Johns River 19 


Local commerce — 

Florida 47-49 

Georgia 47 

North Carolina 45-46 

South Carolina 46-47 

Through commerce- 
Charleston, S. C 49-50 

Jacksonville, Fla 50-51 

Savannah, Ga 50 

Wilmington, N. C 49 

Commodities. (See Commerce and locality in question.) 

Completion, time of, recommended 52 

Congaree River, S. C., local commerce of 47 

Conway, S. C, lock and dam at 29 

Cost. (See Estimates.) 

Costs, relative, of 10 and 12 foot depths 37 

Costs, unit 39-40 

Crescent Lake route, Fla 23 

Cross section, proposed 36-38 


Costs 40 

Types 38-39 

Dams, at — 

Calabash River, N. C 1 27 

Davis Creek, N. C 27 

Elizabeth River, N. C. 26 

Lockwood's Folly River, N. C 27 

Pireway, N. C 28 

Shallotte River, N. C 27 

Davis Creek, N. C., dam at 27 

Depth, proposed, for canal 36-38 

Comparative cost of 10 and 12 foot depths 37 

Cost of 7-foot depth 55-57 

INDEX. 71 

Dikes: Page- 
Cape Fear River 26 

Santee River , 30 

Dimensions proposed for canal : 

Depth 36-38 

Side slopes 38 

Structures 38-39 

Turning basins 38 

Width 38 

Drainage 54-55 

Elizabeth River, N. C, commerce of 46 

Lock and dam in 26 

Engineers, Chief of, letter from 9-11 

Estimates of cost: 
By section — 

Beaufort^Cape Fear River 40-41 

Cape Fear River-Little River... 41 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 42 

Fernandina — St. Johns River 43 

Hawk Channel-Key West 44 

Indian River-Hawk Channel 43-44 

Little River-Win yah Bay. 41 

St. Johns River-Indian River 43 

Savannah River-Fernandina 42 

Win yah Bay-Charleston Harbor 42 

For 7-foot depth 55-57 

For 10-foot depth 40-44 

Maintenance 44 

Summary of the estimates 44 

Unit costs — 

Beacons 40 

Bridges 40 

Contingencies 40 

Dams 40 

Excavation 39-40 

Locks 40 

Rights of way 40 

Training walls 40 

Excavation, unit costs 48 

Fernandina, Fla., commerce of 48 

Fernandina-St. Johns River section: 

Detailed description of adopted route 19 

Estimate of cost 43 

Flood control 54 


Description of coast 19-20 

Local commerce 47-49 

Through commerce 50-51 

Florida East Coast Canal 35, 53 

Freight. (See Commerce.) 

Georgetown, S. C, commerce of 50 


Description of coast 19 

Local commerce 47 

Through commerce 50 

Great Peedee River, S. C, local commerce 47 

Hawk Channel, Fla 20, 24, 36, 44 

Hewletts Creek Crossing, N. C 25-26 

Indian River-Biscayne Bay section: 

Alternative routes 20 

Detailed description of adopted route 34-35 

Estimate of cost 43-44 

Indian River, Fla 20, 23-24, 35, 43-44 

Jupiter Inlet-Biscayne Bay, general description of coast 20 

Kearney Line, N. C 20-21 

Key West, Fla., commerce of j 48 


Lake Harney, Fla., commerce of 23 33*-3»4 

Lake Shad-Salt Lake route 23-24 

Land, to be purchased. (See Rights of Way.) 

Legislation recommended 55 

Little River, S. C. , commerce of 46 

Little River-Winyah Bay section: 

Detailed description of adopted route 19 

Estimate of cost ] [ . 41 

Livingston Creek-Juniper Creek route 21-22 


Dimensions 38 

Type I!;!;;;!!;*";;;.*"; 38 

Unit cost 40 

Locks at — 

Bear Bluff, S. C 29 

Conway, S. C 29 

Elizabeth River, N. C ] " 26 

Salt Lake, Fla ]' m 34 

Wacamaw Crossing, S. C 29 

Lock sections, water supplies for: 

Cape Fear-Little River section 26-27 

Little River-Winyah Bay section . , 27-28 

Lockwoods Folly River, N. C: 

Commerce of 46 

Dam in 27 

McClellanville, S. C, local commerce 46 

Maintenance, estimated cost of 44 

Maps, list of 5 

Material, to be excavated. (See detailed description of locality in question.) 
Military use : 

Depth required for 38 

Prospective 51 

Naval use : 

Depth required for 38 

Prospective 51 

Newbern, N C, commerce of 45 

New River, N. C., commerce of 46 

North Carolina: 

Description of coast 19 

Local commerce 45-46 

Through commerce 49 

Oklawaha River, Fla., commerce of 48 

Orange Mills Flats, Fla., commerce of 48 

Order convening the board 18 

Palatka, Fla., commerce of 48 

Peedee, Great, River, S C, commerce of 47 

Phillips Line, N. C: 

Interior 21 

Shore 21 

Pireway, S. C: 

Dam at 28 

Feeder canal 28 

Reservoir 28 

Prism, proposed for canal 37 

Private canals 53 


Appropriations 52 

Drainage 54-55 

Flood control 54 

Form of legislation 55 

Of Board of Engineers for River and Llarbors — 

On 10-foot depth 11-17 

On 7-foot depth 17-18 

Of Chief of Engineers, United States Army 9-11 

Of special board 51-52 

Right of way 54 

INDEX. 73 

Recommendations — Continued. Page. 

Terminals 54 

Time of completion 52 

Water power 54 

Worthiness of improvement 51-52 

Reservoir at Pireway 28 

Rights of way: 

Cession of 54 

Unit cost 54 

Routes adopted, description of: 

Beaufort-Cape Fear River 24-26 

Cape Fear River-Little River 2<;-27 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah River 31 

Fernandina-St. Johns River 33 

Indian River-Kev West 35-36 

Little River-Winyah Ray 27-29 

St. Johns River-Indian River 33-35 

Savannah River-Fernandina 31-32 

Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor 29-30 

Routes, alternative: 

Beaufort-Cape Fear River 20-21 

Biscayne Bay-Kev West 24 

Cape Fear River-Winyah Bay 21-22 

Charleston Harbor-Savannah' River 23 

Indian River-Biscayne Bay 24 

St. Johns River-Indian River 23-24 

Savannah River-St. Johns River 23 

Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor 22-23 

St. Johns River, Fla : 

Commerce at Orange Mills Flats 48 

Commerce, Palatka to Lake Harney 48 

St. Johns River, Fla., as section of canal 33-35 

St. Johns River-Indian River section: 

Alternative routes 23-24 

Detailed description of adopted route 33-35 

Estimate of cost 43 

St. Johns River- Jupiter Inlet, description of coast 19-20 

St. Lucie Inlet, Fla., commerce at 48 

Salt Lake, Fla., lock at 34 

Salt Lake route 23-24 

Santee River, S. C, commerce of 47 

Savannah, Ga.: 

Local commerce 47 

Through commerce 50 

Savannah River 31 

Savannah River-Fernandina section: 

Alternative routes 23 

Detailed description of adopted route 31-32 

Estimate of cost fc 42 

Scotts Hill Crossing, N. C m 25 

Secretary of War, letter of Acting 7 

Shallotte River, N. C: 

Commerce of a 46 

Dam in 27 

Shore lines (alternatives): 

Florida 1 23 

North Carolina : 20-21 

South Carolina 22 

Side slopes, proposed 38 

Slopes, side, proposed 38 

South Carolina: 

Description of coast 19 

Local commerce *. 46-47 

Through commerce * 49-50 



Structures, proposed: Page. 

Beacons 39 

Breakwaters 39 

Bridges. 39 

Dams 38-39 

Locks 38 

Training walls 39 

Summit levels, water supplies for: 

Cape Fear River-Little River section 26-27 

Little River-Win yah Bay section 27-28 

Swansboro, N. C, commerce of 46 

Terminals, recommendations as to 54 

Time, recommended for completion 52 

Town Creek line 22 

Traffic, present and prospective. (See Commerce.) 
Training walls, proposed: 

In Cape Fear River 26 

In Santee River 30 

Type 39 

Unit cost 40 

Turning basins, proposed • 38 

Utilization, prospective: 

Commercial 45-51 

Military 51 

Naval 51 

Vessels, types likely to be used 37 

Waccamaw Crossing, locks at 29 

Waccamaw River, S. C: 

Local commerce of 47 

Section of canal . 29 

War, Acting Secretary of, letter from 7 

Water powers 54 

Water supplies, for summit levels: 

Cape Fear-Little River section 26-27 

Little River- Winyah Bay section 27-28 

Way, right of 54 

White Oak River, N. C, commerce of 45 

Widths, proposed for canal 38 

Wilmington, N. C: 

Local commerce 46 

Through commerce 49 

Winyah Bay-Charleston Harbor section: 

Alternative routes 22-23 

Detailed description of adopted route 29-30 

Estimate of cost 42 

tVinyah Bay-St. Johns River, general description of coast 19